No Flash-back at Iowa State

Thomas Gallick

Kent State’s mistakes prevent repeat in Ames

Kent State linebacker Kevin Hogan tackles Iowa State running back Jason Scales. Daniel R. Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

WATCH a video of the game.

The Kent State football team lost 48-28 to Iowa State Saturday in Ames, Iowa, after the Cyclones capitalized on the Flashes’ turnover and special teams blunders.

Kent State (0-2) fumbled the ball five times, losing four, and had two punts blocked in the game, preventing any shot of a repeat of last year’s 23-14 win.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said the Flashes made mistakes in all aspects of the game but added letting Iowa State block two punts was unacceptable.

“(We) get two punts blocked that were just absolutely ridiculous,” Martin said. “Guys just totally lost their minds and just gave up two blocked punts.”

The Flashes took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 23-yard touchdown run by junior running back Eugene Jarvis, but they gave up 21 unanswered points after the initial score. Iowa State tied the game 7-7 after blocking a punt by Kent State freshman punter Matt Rinehart and gaining control of the ball at Kent State’s 1-yard line.

Iowa State got to Rinehart again early in the third quarter with another block, but the defense held the Cyclones scoreless on that drive.

Martin said the way the team protected its freshman punter was one of the most disappointing aspects of the game.

“We went out and we recruited a really good punter, and we didn’t give him a chance tonight,” Martin said. “Lord, he may be brain-damaged after tonight for the rest of the year (because of the poor protection).”

Jarvis was the most successful weapon the Flashes used against Iowa State, compiling 139 yards on 24 attempts, an average of 5.8 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Julian Edelman and sophomore running back Andre Flowers also averaged five or more yards per carry on the ground.

The Flashes outgained the Cyclones in total yards, 410 to 374, but Iowa State dominated in time of possession and turnovers. Edelman threw for three touchdown passes on the night – to Jarvis, senior wide receiver Shawn Bayes and sophomore tight end Jon Simpson.

Edelman said the offense’s inability to hold on to the ball ruined any positives the team could take from the game. Edelman fumbled the ball twice on the night, and both were recovered by Iowa State.

“We turned the ball over,” Edelman said. “I didn’t feel they could stop us. They didn’t stop us. We stopped ourselves.”

Martin said Iowa State targeted Edelman as a quarterback prone to turnovers before the game started.

“Everybody (who) watches our film knows he’s going to fumble because he runs around with the ball in one hand all the time,” Martin said. “I’ve told him for two years. At some point he’s got to take the coaching, put two hands on the football and take care of the ball.”

On defense, Kent State only recovered one turnover, a fumble caused by sophomore safety Brian Lainhart’s hit on Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud. Senior defensive back Rico Murray recovered the fumble, which led to Kent State’s first scoring drive.

The Flashes allowed four rushing touchdowns, including two by Iowa State senior running back Jason Scales.

Lainhart said the defense allowed the Cyclones to score too easily, especially when Iowa State started with good field position.

“Even if they get the ball at the 1- or the 2- (yard line), it should not take one play to score,” Lainhart said. “They shouldn’t score at all, to be honest with you.”

Martin said the Flashes made enough mistakes to take themselves out of the game.

“That’s all we’ve really been preaching to our football team, is not to beat yourself,” Martin said. “We’ve got some talented young men, but it doesn’t matter how talented you are if you’re going to turn the ball over.”

Martin said he usually takes the side of the athletes on his team, but he thinks they deserve a lot of the blame for the poor play against Iowa State.

“I’m probably an ardent defender of the players most of the time, but tonight’s over the top,” Martin said. “They’ve got to take some ownership in this deal.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].