#85 Kent State Football 2012 Preview

Kent State Golden Flashes

2012 Overall Rank: #85
#5 Mid-American Conference
Kent State College Football 2012 Preview
Kent State Team Page


The Golden Flashes were competitive last season thanks to a stifling defense. Their offense however struggled mightily every week, which cost them many games and masked how great their defense was. It is now a new year and Kent State is trying to find that perfect balance under second year head coach, Darrell Hazell.

2011 Record: (5-7, 4-4)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Darrell Hazell (5-7 at Kent State, 5-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Rock
Defensive Coordinator: Jon Heacock

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Trayion Durham, RB, 644
Passing: Spencer Keith, QB, 1,682 yards
Receiving: Matthew Hurdle, WR, 251 yards
Tackles: Luke Batton, LB, 102
Sacks: Jake Dooly, LB, 5
Interceptions: Luke Wallet, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: DB Sidney Saulter, DL Roosevelt Nix, LB C.J. Malauulu

Key Losses: WR Chris Gilbert, TE Justin Thompson

Kent State did not allow opponents to move the ball easily, surrendering just 326 yards per game. They played excellent against both the run and the pass and were able to wreck havoc on opposing offenses, despite giving up too many points. Their pass defense gave opponents fits on a weekly basis, ranking 16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

The Golden Flashes, although they did not move the ball well, protected it well and forced a lot of turnovers. This was the key to their success and the reason they were in so many game. They had the 7th best turnover margin in the nation. If they are going to improve upon their record from a year ago they will need to repeat their success in the turnover margin department.

The Golden Flashes may have boasted one of the better defensive units in the nation but their offense was not scaring anybody. Their offense was almost nonexistent, ranking 114th in the nation in points per game at just over 17. They struggled running and throwing the ball. Furthermore, they struggled with pass protection, giving up 2.5 sacks per game, 92nd in the nation. These types of struggles really point to poor offensive line play and a lack of playmakers. Luckily for the Golden Flashes their trigger man and their running back are both young players with gobs of potential and are returning this season. The offensive line must play better if Kent State wants to be competitive in the MAC.  

The Bottom Line:
Kent State struggled a season ago but showed signs of improvement under first year head coach Darrell Hazell. They will likely continue to improve but will still struggle overall. Their offense needs to be better for them to be successful, but if the Golden Flashes play solid defense and protect the football again this year, they will be competitive with every team in their conference. The turnaround has started but will still take some time.

Projected Bowl: None

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 108.08 (107th in the nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 145.42 (110, 11)
Total Offense: 253.50 (119, 13)
Scoring Offense: 17.08 (114, 12)
Rushing Defense: 129.83 (35, 2)
Pass Defense: 196.33 (26, 2)
Total Defense: 326.17 (21, 2)
Scoring Defense: 24.25 (49, 4)
Turnover Margin: 1.00 (7, 2)
Sacks: 2.17 (41, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.50 (92,11)