Looming controversy with UMASS quarterback


Antwan Dixon runs for a 47-yard touchdown on the Flashes’ opening drive of the Kent State vs Marshall game on Sept. 26, 2015. Kent State lost in double overtime, 36-29.

Stephen Means II

Kent State (2-4, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) will be on the road again this week to take on the University of Massachusetts (1-4, 0-1 MAC).

“(UMass is a) very good opponent,” said head coach Paul Haynes. “These guys are battle tested because if you look at their schedule they have had a tough road. “

This is the first time the two schools have ever played one another.

“Coach (Mark) Whipple does a great job with their offense putting points on the board,” Haynes said. “Their defense is playing well that they know that all they need is a couple stops and their offense can try to out score people.”

The Minutemen are averaging 459.2 offensive yards per game and rank ninth in the country in passing yards with 358.8 yards per game.

“(Our defense has) to do a good job with their offense and not let them get big plays,” Haynes said. “It’s going to be a tough test for both sides of the ball, but our defense is going to have to do a good job of controlling their offense, and we are going to have to make sure that we move the ball and control the clock.”

Massachusetts’ senior quarterback, Blake Frohnapfel, ranks fifth in the nation in completions per game with 27 and is currently second in passing yards in the MAC. Senior receiver Tajae Sharpe is first in the nation with 11.6 receptions per game and third in yards with 138.4 per game.

Controversy at the quarterback position has been the storyline going into this week after Kent junior Colin Reardon, a three-year starter, was pulled in the second half of the game against Toledo for freshman George Bollas.

“We haven’t made a decision moving forward in what we are going to do,” Haynes said. “Both of those guys will probably play for us in the future.”

Haynes did say that both players would have an equal opportunity this week to earn the starting job come Saturday.

“It definitely is an open competition this week,” Haynes said. “There really won’t be any difference on how they share reps (in practice), it’s what they’ve been doing all year. We will make a decision later in the week on who gives us the best chance to win.”

Haynes said that the final decision about the starting quarterback will not be made public until game time Saturday.

Freshman wide receiver Antwan Dixon has been listed as day-to-day after leaving Saturday’s game with an injury.

Kick–off is at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Stephen Means is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].