Football team hopes to build consistency

Thomas Gallick

In the recent history of the Kent State football program, consistency has been a dirty word.

The team has done nothing consistently besides post losses, get injured and promise a better season next year. Now, with three games remaining on the year and only one winning season in the last 20, veteran players on the team are saying consistency may be the very key to fixing the football program.

“You’ve just got to be consistent,” senior quarterback Julian Edelman said. “There are times in our season when you look at our offense and we look like we’re unstoppable, and there are times when we look like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off. That’s the consistency factor, and all good programs have a consistent bunch of guys.”

Junior running back Eugene Jarvis said the team needs to be consistent by carrying a similar work ethic from practice into the games.

“I was brought up (hearing) you practice how you play,” Jarvis said. “We do a good job of practicing during the week, but it doesn’t show during the games. Or, vice versa, we might have a bad week of practice but go out against Miami and put up 54 (points).”

Edelman said the athletic department made the right choice for the future of Kent State football when it announced Friday that coach Doug Martin will return next season. He said people calling for Martin to be removed as coach do not understand how much the current staff has improved the program.

The Game:

KENT STATE (2-7, 1-4 MAC)

vs. TEMPLE (3-6, 2-3 MAC)

Where: Dix Stadium

When: 8 p.m.

Radio: WNIR 100.1 FM,

“All those ‘fans’ . they don’t know football like these (coaches) do,” Edelman said. “These guys put us in the right situations and the right plays. We just don’t make the plays as much as we should. I love this coaching staff and think they’re doing fine, and they should be here.”

Jarvis said he is glad Martin will be back because the coach recruited him, and he wants to finish his college career playing under the man who brought him to Kent State.

“He was a big factor in why we all came here,” Jarvis said. “Me, personally, I like to finish what I’ve started. I came here for him, and I want to leave (on) the same note. I know things haven’t been going like they’ve been supposed to, but you’ve got to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad.”

The Flashes will have a chance to show consistency at 8 p.m. tonight at Dix Stadium with a game against Temple. Kent State will close out the season with the three opponents who gave them three consecutive losses to close the season last year: Temple, Northern Illinois and Buffalo.

Last season, Kent State lost by just seven points to Buffalo and Northern Illinois and 10 to Temple, despite playing without Edelman, among others. Jarvis said the three consecutive losses to end last season hurt the team’s momentum coming into this season, something the team needs to avoid in the next three weeks.

“We can use these next three games as a springboard going into next season,” Jarvis said. “Hopefully (we can) go into next season on a three-game winning streak, which would give us a lot of confidence.”

The Kent State football program could end the season on a high note with three straight wins, but the returning players will still have to face the same sobering statistics as this season’s group.

The team has not earned a winning season since 2001, has not won a Mid-American Conference championship since 1972 and has never won a bowl game. Overall, the program sits almost 200 games below .500 in its 85-year history (298-484-28).

Jarvis said this season has been especially hard for the team because the team had enough talent for a shot at the MAC title.

“We caught a lot of bad breaks, once again,” Jarvis said. “Things just didn’t go our way.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].