Beat down in Beantown

Josh Johnston

Flashes use three quarterbacks in loss

The Kent State and Boston College football teams both had questions at quarterback coming into Saturday’s game.

Clearly the Flashes have tougher questions to answer as the Eagles rolled to a 34-7 win at Alumni Stadium.

Using three different quarterbacks, Kent State’s offense failed to put together a substantial drive through most of the game. Nine of the Flashes’ 14 offensive series ended in three plays or fewer.

Meanwhile, Boston College rotated between two freshmen quarterbacks and kept the Flashes’ defense off balance. Eagles’ quarterbacks Justin Tuggle and Dave Shinskie combined for 223 yards and three touchdowns.

“Their quarterback play was much better than what it was in the first week,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “Obviously we played a really good football team. There’s a reason Boston College has been in the (Atlantic Coast Conference) football championships the last couple years.”

Sophomore starting quarterback Giorgio Morgan played fewer than two quarters before being replaced by senior Anthony Magazu. Still suffering from an ankle injury from the game against Coastal Carolina, Morgan was limited to mostly playing out of the shotgun formation. He finished 9-for-16 with 38 yards.

Also making an early exit in the game was senior running back Eugene Jarvis. After being held to 51 yards last season by Boston College in a 21-0 season opening loss, Jarvis carried for just 17 yards before leaving late in the second quarter.

In the second half, Magazu split series with freshman quarterback Spencer Keith, who was playing in the first college game of his career.

Keith struggled early in his appearance at the start of the second half. His first pass attempt was intercepted by Boston College sophomore linebacker Dominick LeGrande. Keith later fumbled away a snap in his second series on Kent State’s 16-yard line.

Both turnovers resulted in scoring plays for Boston College.

“It wasn’t the start I wanted,” Keith said. “I settled down there at the end and finally got something going. I’m going to learn a lot from this.”

Keith ended the game with his first collegiate touchdown pass, leading a 13-play, 65-yard scoring drive to break the Eagles’ shutout bid in the fourth quarter. A four-yard strike from Keith to junior tight end Jon Simpson at the back of the end zone capped Kent State’s only scoring drive of the game.

On the other side of the ball, the Flashes’ defense couldn’t handle Boston College’s play-action passes and mobile receivers. The Eagles’ first three touchdowns were made or set up by passes longer than 20 yards.

“The way we played, we should have played much better,” junior safety Brian Lainhart said. “We had a couple of blown coverages, which led to explosion plays. When we blow a coverage against a team like that, they’re going to find it.”

Lainhart snared a downfield pass from Shinskie on a diving grab for his second interception of the year. Outside of that play in the fourth quarter, Kent State’s pass defense did little to contain the Eagles.

Martin, however, gave his defense the benefit of the doubt, crediting the play of Boston College’s wide receivers.

“Their wide receivers made some great catches with people hanging all over them,” he said. “I like the way we contested the ball, but we can’t let people get behind us in those circumstances.”

The Eagles’ receiving duo of senior Rich Gunnel (114 yards on six catches) and sophomore Colin Larmond Jr. (74 yards on three catches) combined for three touchdowns.

Despite the 27-point loss, Martin said Kent State still benefited from playing a strong ACC team.

“They are a tough bunch to play against, but this game will make us better,” Martin said. “We’ll become a much better football team for playing competition like this.”

Contact assistant sports editor Josh Johnston at [email protected].