Football looks to challenge BCS opponent Boston College

Lance Lysowski

Kent State lost its starting quarterback, Giorgio Morgan, and its starting running back, Eugene Jarvis, in a 34-7 beating by Boston College last year.

During Monday’s weekly football press conference, senior defensive tackle Quinton Rainey said this season’s matchup with the Eagles on Saturday in Boston will be much different than the past two seasons.

“Last year was different,” Rainey said. “A lot of guys thought that it was a game to just compete and have pride. Now, it’s like we’ve been through this before. We know them, they know us and it’s like a conference game.”

The Flashes defeated Murray State last Thursday, 41-10, but Boston College poses a different challenge. The Eagles are 7-1 at home since the beginning of the 2009 season and possess a plethora of talent on both sides of the ball.

Leading Boston College is senior linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich, who missed all of last season battling bone cancer, was the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In his return to the football field, the senior recorded five tackles against Weber State.

On offense, Boston College’s running game leads the way; most notably junior Montel Harris, who rushed for 1,457 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said how quickly his team’s transitions from Murray State to Boston College will be important if the team is going to have a chance at an upset.

“We have a great challenge this week,” Martin said. “We’re playing a storied program. Boston College is one of the best-coached teams in the country. They’re always one of the best defensive teams in the country and this year is no exception. When you watch them on defense, they play with such discipline. This is going to be a great test for our players; seeing how much improvement we’ve made from game one to game two.”

As Martin praised the work of Boston College coach Frank Spaziani, Spaziani did the same when speaking to the Boston Herald last weekend.

“Kent State is a well-coached team, and they always play tremendously against (BCS conference opponents). They’ve got a good scheme and good players,” Spaziani said. “I always harken back to a few years ago. They gave us all we can handle out there in Cleveland and a year before that, they had Ohio State on the ropes. They’re a formidable opponent. Once again, we’ve got to worry about ourselves, but they’ll come in and create a lot of problems for us.”

Kent State lost to Ohio State 48-3 in 2007 and 21-0 to Boston College in 2008.

Martin said this Flashes’ team has given optimism to not only the players, but also himself.

“We need to go win one of these types of games,” Martin said. “The way you win one of these games is to get into the fourth quarter, where you still have a chance to win. Our goal is to go up there and win the football game.”

–Contact Lance Lysowski at [email protected].