Hazell talks injuries, offensive struggles in weekly press conference

AJ Atkinson

After the upsetting 17-10 loss to Ohio, Kent State coach Darrell Hazell discussed in his weekly press conference the team’s outlook after dropping their first conference loss.


Last weekend, the Flashes were told they lost defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen for three weeks due to a dislocated elbow. After this weekend, the team learned they would be without junior Norman Wolfe Jr. The 5 foot 8 inch 163-pound defensive back injured did damage to his foot that requires surgery. Hazell said he believed Wolfe would have his surgery tomorrow and would be unable to play for at least five weeks.

Keith vs. McCloud

Hazell said depending on how he practices and gets caught up on the plays, backup quarterback Cedric McCloud may get a couple offensive series in Saturday’s game against Northern Illinois.

Hazell said pulling junior quarterback Spencer Keith out of the game would not necessarily be because Keith was doing a poor job, but to get the team fired up. Hazell said the receivers are not helping Keith out by dropping all those passes, so maybe switching quarterbacks would make them snap into form and help out whoever is quarterback.

Play call on running back pass

Hazell said he was fine with offensive coordinator Brian Rock’s running back pass call from Ohio’s 23-yard line that turned into an interception. Hazell said they had that huge blocked punt and Rock asked Hazell over the headset what he thought about running the play.

“I said I loved it,” Hazell said. “The guy was wide-open. The pass just wasn’t there.”

The offensive line

Hazell said he was impressed with his offensive line and thought they did a good job. The only thing he thought they needed to do better was open up more lanes in the running game. Other than that, he said no changes would be made to the line. Hazell said he feels it is best to let these guys start and mature and for him to quit changing the line so much.

Second defender in back-to-back weeks awarded for play

A week after sophomore safety Luke Wollet received the award, junior linebacker C.J. Malauulu was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in Saturday’s game. The 6-foot-1 inch, 231-pound linebacker recorded a game-high and career- best 12 tackles, with three of those tackles for a loss. Malauulu created a huge turnover at Ohio’s 25 that led to the Flashes’ lone touchdown.

How to prepare against Northern Illinois’ dual threat quarterback

One positive of Saturday’s game was how the Flashes shutdown and limited Ohio’s quarterback, Tyler Tettleton. Tettleton often shows much more of his running ability than he did Saturday. The Flashes held him to 20 yards on 12 carries for an average of 1.7 yards per carry.

The Flashes hope to do the same against the Huskies’ scrambling quarterback, Chandler Harnish. Harnish is second on the team with 377 rushing yards on 57 carries. The Huskies’ quarterback is just 53 yards behind the starting running back, and that is with 15 fewer carries.