Lewis, Flashes looking to build off tough loss to Ohio


Kent State’s Antwan Dixon attempts a stiff-arm during the second half of the Flashes matchup against Ohio University on Oct. 6, 2018. Kent lost the game, 27-26.

Ian Kreider

The words were famously uttered by Allen Iverson at a 2002 press conference.

“We’re talking about practice?” the all-star guard said, his voice rising with every word. “Not a game, not a game, not a game, but practice.”

Iverson was upset about being asked why he missed practice by the media. In total, Iverson said the word 20 times during that infamous press conference.

Practice is important for coaches and players across all sports,

but particularly for Kent State football coach Sean Lewis.

“If you treat practice like it’s a game then when you’re in those situations, you have been in those situations each and every day,” Lewis said at his press conference Monday.

He mentioned practice in a variety of situations including, but not limited to: Sophomore quarterback Woody Barrett’s performance, particularly the late game interception that sealed Kent State’s (1-5, 0-2 Mid-American Conference) 27-26 loss to Ohio (3-2, 1-0 MAC) on Saturday.

“It was the proper read; he just needs to leave the ball outside,” Lewis said. “We played really, really well and it shouldn’t have come down to that. … If we would have done a better job executing throughout the course of the game, (it) could’ve been in hand.”

The team was also picked apart defensively. Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke finished 18-for-20 passing for 284 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown that gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter. The Flashes forced three red zone turnovers, but Rourke’s consistency to lead the Bobcats downfield was ultimately the difference.

“We challenged the kids throughout the week that we need to be physical,” Lewis said. “We challenge them to stop the run, and that’s a really good running offense. They have a really experienced running back and quarterback.”

Lewis was also impressed with junior running back Justin Rankin, who finished with over 100 rushing yards for the second time this season.

Miami boasts the best rushing defense in the MAC (123.5 yards per game), while the Flashes round out the top five in rushing offense (179.2 ypg).

“I think it is just about having the self-discipline and focus throughout the week so that we can have the best week of practice possible,” Lewis said of the Flashes’ matchup. “That will be what ultimately determines the outcome on Saturday.”

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday inside Yager Stadium.

 Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]