#100 Kent State Football Preview

Kent State Golden Flashes

Overall Rank: #100
#7 Mid-American

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2010 Record: (5-7, 4-4)
2010 Bowl: none
Head Coach: Darrell Hazell (First year at Kent State, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Rock
Defensive Coordinator: Jon Heacock

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jacquise Terry, RB, 542 yards
Passing: Spencer Keith, QB, 2212 yards
Receiving: Tyshon Goode, WR, 743 yards
Tackles: Norman Wolfe, CB, 75
Sacks: Roosevelt Nix, DE, 10
Interceptions: Norman Wolfe, CB, 5

Other Key Returnees:
C Chris Anzevino, DE Jake Dooley, WR Sam Kirkland, CB Josh Pleasant, P Matt Rinehart

Key Losses:
LB Cobrani Mixon, S Brian Lainhart

Kent State is bringing in a new coach this season. They hired Darrell Hazell back in December of last year. Coach Hazell is an offensive minded coach, something that they needed badly. His job this year will be to spark the offense while maintaining a solid defense. How successful he is at finding this balancing point will be the deciding factor in how many games that Kent State wins.
Although the offense was weak last year, it is returning many players so the experience should help pay off. Of course this will be counteracted by a new offensive scheme, but regardless the offense should be improved this year. They are returning starting quarterback Spencer Keith who should be improving by the day. They are also returning leading rusher Jacquise Terry, as well as leading wide out Tyshon Goode. That trio should form a great nucleus for an offence that looks to be explosive this year.  The defense has been very good the last few years, and although they are losing some key players they should still be formidable. Special teams is often overlooked, and the Golden Flashes bring back a great punter in Matt Rinehart. This can allow Kent State to battle for field position which can help overcome shortcomings on either side of the football. This little and underrated aspect of the game can pay huge dividends, and it will help Kent State either put points on the board or keep them off, which directly translates into winning football games.

The Golden Flashes offense was not very good last year. That is the main reason they hired an offensive minded coach. This year the offense looks to be much better due to experience and hopefully coaching. The defense however is experiencing some turbulence due to turnover. Kent State graduated many of their core defensive players and finding replacements will not be easy. These new players are not only going to be expected to fill in instantly but also make an impact on Saturdays like their predecessors. This will be a big challenge, especially when the new coach is an offensive guru. The grunt of the defensive work will be left to defensive coordinator Jon Heacock. His challenge will be to pull this group together and have the same type of success, or more success, than Kent State football is used to having, despite losing key components to their unit.

Bottom Line:
Coaching changes are never easy on anybody; fans, players and coaches alike. But when you hire the right coach good things blossom out of it, and Kent State got their man. Darrell Hazell is the perfect man for this job.  His offensive geniuses coupled with the fact that the Golden Flashes are returning their most vital players, makes for a scary concoction. The offensive unit is also returning four starting offensive lineman, which is a major plus. The defense has been able to retool in the past and expect no difference this year under the new regime. Darrell Hazell and Kent State are truly a golden match.

Projected Bowl: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 113.58 (100th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 200.75 (74, 5)
Total Offense: 314.33 (102, 9)
Scoring Offense: 21.33 (99, 9)
Rushing Defense: 97.17 (4,1)
Pass Defense: 209.50 (47,5)
Total Defense: 306.67 (10,1)
Scoring Defense: 22.92 (42, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0 (55,5)
Sacks: 2.92 (8,1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.83 (56, 5)

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