KSU’s offense moves on despite injuries to Jarvis and Morgan

Nick walton

Flashes prepare for Saturday’s contest against Iowa State

Already dealing with an injury at the quarterback position, losing senior running back Eugene Jarvis for the season was another tough blow for the Kent State football team.

Despite the injuries, the Flashes look to move on as they continue to prepare for Saturday’s game against Iowa State.

Replacing Jarvis

After losing Jarvis for the season, Kent State is ready to prove its critics wrong.

“Collegefootball.com said that we couldn’t beat anybody that doesn’t have a pulse without Eugene Jarvis,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “I told the players that’s what everybody’s going to say about you, so you got to go prove them wrong, and that’s what they got to do.”

Despite the loss of Jarvis to a kidney injury, the Flashes have depth at running back and are confident they will be able to make up for his loss. Martin said junior Andre Flowers and freshman Dri Archer will fill in at running back.

“I’m very confident they’ll do the job,” Martin said. “They would start at most (Mid-American Conference) schools, and we won’t miss a beat.”

Last season, Flowers started three games after Jarvis suffered an ankle injury and rushed for 319 yards. Flowers said playing during the last two seasons will help him move into the starting position.

“I think it’s going to help me out a lot because it gives me a lot more game experience,” Flowers said. “I’m going to be used to the game speed and the physicality of the game.”

Flowers said Martin called the team out and the team has to thrive off of this challenge.

“It’s not a one-player game; we’re a team,” Flowers said. “Eugene is a great player, and we’re going to miss him, but we got to step it up – we got to prove to people we can do it without him.”

While Flowers has some experience starting, Archer has only five carries in his college career. Archer said he isn’t intimidated by his larger role as a freshman.

“This is what I want to do – I want to come out here and play for these guys,” Archer said. “Unfortunately (Jarvis) went down, and now it’s my turn to step up, see what I can do.”

Martin expects sophomore running back Jacquise Terry to get carries and junior running back Alan Vanderink to return punts for the Flashes.

Replacing Morgan

At his weekly press conference, Martin said sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan wouldn’t play even with the slightest limp. Yesterday, Martin said it would take a drastic improvement for Morgan to be ready for Saturday.

“It’s been tough because he wants to play,” Martin said. “At the same time, it’s not fair to him to put him back there when he’s not fully healthy because he just can’t do everything we need to do.”

Martin said freshman quarterback Spencer Keith is working with the first team while senior quarterback Anthony Magazu is working with the second team. After getting his first collegiate experience against Boston College, Martin feels confident in Keith’s ability.

“I think he got the jitters out of his system and he caught up to the speed of the game at Boston College and really finished playing the game well,” Martin said. “He’s a very intelligent young man. I think he’ll handle things well.”

Martin said it’s possible that the quarterbacks will rotate to help give Keith a break or settle him down if he struggles.

Despite the injuries, Flowers said it’s important to protect the quarterback.

“Whoever the quarterback is, me and the offensive line know we’re going to have to protect him and just do our job,” Flowers said. “We preach that every day: Just do your job. If we do our jobs, then we’re going to be able to protect whoever’s back there.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].

Listen to football coach Doug Martin talk about Eugene Jarvis’ replacements and sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan’s status.

Listen to junior running back Andre Flowers talk about coach Doug Martin’s challenge and about protecting the quarterback.