Football team looks to regroup after loss at Lafayette

Thomas Gallick

The Kent State football team will face one of the most impressive offenses in the Mid-American Conference Saturday against Ball State, just one week after giving up 667 yards of total offense at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said the team needs to focus not just on the Cardinals’ offense, but also on their stellar defense.

“I think we’re probably playing the best team in the conference right now,” Martin said. “I think they’re really explosive on offense (and) play really good defense. They played a tough non-conference season also, just like us, and they fared very well.”

The Flashes’ defense goes into the game giving up 430 yards per game, while Ball State averages more than 488 yards per game, good for 12th overall in the nation among division 1-A programs.

Ball State junior quarterback Nate Davis, who owns the Ball State career passing yardage and career touchdown passes marks, will be a tough match-up for the Flashes’ defense, which averages 205 passing yards allowed per game.

Ball State will go into the game without one of its offensive leaders, however, as senior wide receiver Dante Love was seriously injured in the team’s 42-20 win. Love will likely never play football again after suffering a spine injury, according to Associated Press reports.

Martin said watching a player get injured is the “worst nightmare” for any college football coach.

“You hate to see any player get hurt, but particularly a great player like that,” Martin said. “We’re just praying and hoping for a speedy recovery for him, and I think things look like they’re going pretty well from what I understand.”

Kent State goes to Muncie this weekend after an impressive offensive effort, the second most points of the season, but a weak effort from the defensive side of the ball.

Senior offensive lineman Augustus Parrish said the mood in the locker room is still good, even with the problems the team failed to correct during the non-conference schedule.

“I think, just as a team I feel that we’re together,” Parrish said. “We just let (the younger players) know that it’s a long season. It’s a grind. No one said it was going to be easy.”

Martin said he thinks the reaction from the players has been great, even with the losses in non-conference play. He said the team should not be ashamed of the 44-27 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette because they gave a solid effort.

“I love what I’ve seen from (the players) so far,” Martin said. “They competed their tails off down there (in Louisiana) Saturday night. It was a tough task, and we were struggling especially on defense, but our offensive kids were trying to pick it up and talking about matching (Louisiana-Lafayette’s) scores.”

Martin said the offense can put up about 30 points per game, but they still can’t win without solid defensive play.

“We’re good enough defensively to hold people below that (30-point mark)” Martin said. “If this gets into a shootout it will be difficult for us.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].

Mid-Week Notes:

Ankle woes

Kent State coach Martin said junior running back Eugene Jarvis and senior tight end Jameson Konz are both questionable with ankle injuries for Saturday’s game against Ball State. Jarvis last played against Delaware State Sept. 13, while Konz has not played since the season opener against Boston College.

Moss returns

In the first positive ankle-related news in a long while for the Flashes, senior linebacker Stevon Moss is expected to play against Ball State. He suffered yet another ankle injury against Delaware State.

Giorgio seeing red

Martin said sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan will likely not see any playing time this season. Martin said Giorgio will be redshirted unless there is an injury at the quarterback position.