Offense sputters as Kent State falls in Manhattan

AJ Atkinson

If Kent State fans were worried about the Flashes’ football team, Saturday’s game offered no reassurance. The Flashes dropped to 0-3, a mark they have not seen since 2000, after a 37-0 loss to Kansas State Saturday night.

After a week of Kent State coach Darrell Hazell preaching for the offense to protect the ball, the first play of the game was junior quarterback Spencer Keith throwing an interception returned 45 yards for a Kansas State touchdown.

Unlike last weekend against Louisiana when the defense continually stopped the Cajuns and forced them to punt, the Flashes’ defense could not stop the Kansas State offense for the life of them.

After Kent State’s second possession, senior punter Matt Rinehart punted to the Wildcats’ five-yard line. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein marched the Wildcats 95 yards down the field for a touchdown. Kansas State was faced with the same situation on its next possession and responded the same way, marching 98-yards down the field for the Wildcats’ third touchdown of the day.

The 6-5, 226 pound quarterback finished the game with two rushing touchdowns and 139 yards on 19 carries. Klein was also successful with his passing game, completing nine passes on 18 attempts for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Keith never did get his passing game going until the very end of the game. Many of the 6-3, 221 pound quarterback’s throws were off target throws, and when he did make a good pass, it seemed his receivers dropped it. Keith finished 11 for 23 for 81 yards and two interceptions.

The Flashes did show promise at two developing positions. The running game improved greatly from the first two games, and Keith had another target available as the Flashes’ put more emphasis on the tight end position. Freshman Trayion Durham took the majority of the carries, running 72 yards on 18 carries for an average of four yards per carry, and tight end Justin Thompson led the team in receptions. The 6-1, 230 pound senior had five receptions for 35 yards. Senior wide receiver Sam Kirkland finished second in receptions with four for 34 yards.

The Flashes must improve to be able to call this season a success. Even though two of the Flashes’ three opponents so far are very talented, the Flashes have had less than expected performances. In their three games, the Flashes have been outscored 105 to 19 and have allowed 976 net yards to their 475 net yards.

The Flashes will have a week to prepare before they are displayed once more in front of their home crowd. Kent State hosts South Alabama Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Dix Stadium.

Contact AJ Atkinson at [email protected].