Martin: Jarvis unsure of return

Lance Lysowski

Senior running back Eugene Jarvis’ comeback may have come to a premature end.

During the team’s season opening victory over Murray State, Jarvis pulled a muscle in his groin. The injury was initially listed as day-to-day, but the senior has not practiced since.

While the Football Bowl Subdivision’s leading career rusher has been cleared to play by trainers, Jarvis does not feel that he is ready to play, said Kent State coach Doug Martin at the weekly football press conference.

Martin said it is up to Jarvis whether the win at Murray State will be his last in a Kent State uniform.

“(The trainers) are working with Eugene, and I’m sure Eugene wants to play,” Martin said. “For whatever reason, he does not feel like he is ready. I certainly don’t want him going in there when he’s feeling like that because he’ll do something to cost us a game. He has a lot of catching up to do.”

Junior running back Jacquise “Speedy” Terry continues to fill in for Jarvis, and scored two touchdowns in the loss to Miami. Terry has carried the ball 58 times for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns in four games. The junior has become a threat in the passing game also, catching 10 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

On special teams, the Flashes struggled in the first week without Jarvis, who was the team’s punt returner. In their first game without the six-year senior, the Flashes fumbled three punts, two of which were recovered by Boston College.

Seniors Leneric Muldrow and Brian Lainhart have filled in for Jarvis on punt return. Against Miami on Saturday, Lainhart dropped a punt but was able to fall on it.

Martin said the team needs to move forward with or without Jarvis.

“We’re pretty much (at the point of going on without him),” Martin said. “You’re going on five weeks that he’s been out now so I’m hoping he can get back. I love him to death, but we can’t sacrifice the whole team for one guy. We’ve got to move forward and our players understand that.”

Also at today’s press conference:

– Senior defensive lineman Monte’ Simmons is “100 percent” going to play in the Battle for the Wagon Wheel. Simmons dressed last weekend at Miami, but trainers were told to hide his helmet to prevent him from trying to play.

– After watching film of the 27-21 loss to Miami, Martin said he is not as concerned with the play of the secondary. The Flashes’ defense dropped four interceptions from RedHawk sophomore quarterback Zac Dysert.

– Last week Martin said freshman running back Rob Holloman may play against Miami, but the opportunity never came to get him playing time. Today, the coach said he is tempted to get him playing time, and the next week will show if he is going to play this season or receive a red-shirt.

– Martin said there is no quarterback controversy. He believes sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith is the quarterback that will lead this team, and senior safety Brian Lainhart echoed Martin’s words. Keith led the Flashes downfield in a comeback attempt on Saturday, which ended in an interception.

– Keith suffered a severe cut on his right-middle finger during the game when his hand collided with he helmet of an opposing player. Keith said the injury did not impact his play, and it will not in the future.

– Rumors are swirling that Akron will make a quarterback change this week from sophomore Patrick Nicely to junior Matt Rodgers. Martin said no matter who plays under center, the game plan will not change.

Contact Lance Lysowski at [email protected].