What’s a Chanticleer?

Thomas Gallick

And other questions raised by Kent State’s shutout win

View an audio slideshow from last night’s game.

Watch a video from the game.

It wasn’t the blowout the Kent State faithful deserved.

In fact it wasn’t a blowout at all. It was a squeaker, of sorts: an 18-0 win over a Football Championship Subdivision team named after a Chaucerian rooster that left more questions than answers.

But as Kent State football fans, you take what you can get, especially when your team had only won one of its last five season openers.

Also it’s a shutout win, and one shouldn’t knock the shutout even against a team most people may not have heard of. It’s the first time the Flashes have blanked an opponent since the Ohio game in 1994.

The debate starts now. Was it an anemic performance from the Chanticleers or domination by the Flashes?

Credit has to be given to the Chanticleer offense for making Kent State look good at times, but could this effort be a sign that last year’s underachieving defense could really be a thing of the past? Defensive linemen Kevin Hogan and Monte Simmons looked like they could finally start delivering on their promise as athletes, and the defensive backfield shut down the passing game.

But is the mean, point-scrounging Kent State defense here to stay, or is it only on display at scrimmages and games against FCS teams?

One question that was answered was will the Flashes’ offense bounce back from the loss of quarterback Julian Edelman? And by the Flashes’ offense, of course I mean Eugene Jarvis.

It looks like a big yes, as the senior running back is moving closer to the school’s all-time rushing record and looking like he wants to get there in a hurry.

And while the defense still needs to be tested against a quality opponent, Flash fans know the majority of Mid-American Conference teams have no answer for Jarvis.

So that’s one question answered, but so many more loom for the football team after the shutout win over Coastal Carolina.

&bull Is Giorgio Morgan the sure-thing quarterback of the future for the Flashes? No passing touchdowns and a couple of “gimme” interceptions was probably not the welcome back to the starting spot he and the Kent State coaching staff envisioned.

&bull Is Eugene Jarvis worth risking on punt returns? We saw both the risk and the reward for Jarvis fielding punts yesterday, with a couple of near scores and an injury scare that had all 16,481 fans at the stadium cringing.

&bull Can the Flashes take out a BCS conference team like Baylor, Boston College or Iowa State? No, no and probably not.

&bull Will the Flashes ever stop taking stupid penalties? No.

&bull What the hell is a chanticleer anyway? I think it’s a rooster, but somehow cagier than your average rooster. Also, he’s apparently teal.

So, Eugene Jarvis and stupid penalties (really, three blocks in the back?) are the only sure thing on the Kent State football team this year.

On the other hand, a rough and tumble defense, a pocket passer that torches opposing defenses and a win over a BCS program are all possibilities this season. Not bad, eh Flash fan?

And who knows, maybe we’ll even get a better definition for chanticleer as the year goes on.

Contact sports editor Thomas Gallick at [email protected].