Flashes aim to earn first win at Virginia


Kent State defensive linemen tackle University of South Alabama’s Jay Jones at the football game September 6, 2014. The Flashes will take on The University of Virginia on Saturday.

Taylor Rosen

The last time we saw the Kent State football team in action, there were not many positives to take away from the game, as they fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 66-0.

Five weeks into the campaign and the Flashes find themselves still searching for their first victory of the season as they travel to Virginia to face the Cavaliers on Saturday.

“Virginia is a very talented football team,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said. “They have had a very tough schedule, playing three out of four ranked opponents and playing them well. We will have a huge challenge this week, but our guys have great attitude. We kind of went back to a very good work ethic, and the guys are looking forward to going against an ACC opponent.”

The Flashes hope to take advantage of the bye week, as they were not granted a bye last season.

“I will take this bye week early,” Haynes said. “You sit there and you played three or four games and you get to just refocus on what you’re doing. You can go back and hit the fundamentals again, and you can kind of get a bit healthier depending on the injury.”

The bye week is a love-hate relationship when it comes to the players.

“Bye weeks are awesome if you’re injured or banged up, but for me, I’m anxious to play,” senior tight end Casey Pierce said. “I love playing on Saturdays, and I hate sitting there watching other teams play. It was a good week for us, and now it’s time to get better on the field.”

Senior defensive end Nate Vance, on the other hand, can appreciate a bye week every once in a while.

“Bye weeks are always interesting especially when you’re new to the program,” Vance said. “As you grow older, you realize the bye week is incredibly important, and it’s a crucial time to get better and improve. You get to work on technique and fundamentals that you don’t always get time to work on because you’re so focused

on gameplay.”

The Flashes hope last week’s bye was just what the doctor ordered because they have struggled in the first three games of the season.

The Flashes are also hoping the offensive line can control the line of scrimmage Saturday in effort to finally get the running game going. Establishing some sort of run game will be something the Flashes must do if they want to emerge from Saturday’s game victorious.

“What we’ve been talking about the whole time is that we still have everything that we want to accomplish in front of us,” Vance said. “We really have been good-spirited and been up in practice. Practice hasn’t slacked, and the

guys haven’t.”

The Flashes will look to accomplish one of those goals Haynes referred to this Saturday. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN 3.

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].