Jarvis, Flashes head to the Linc to play tough Temple team

Joe Harrington

Kent State’s quarterback Julian Edelman runs the ball before getting tackled by Bowling Green’s Loren Hargrove during the Kent State football game against Bowling Green Saturday, Oct. 12, 2007. The Flashes lost to Bowling Green 31-20. GAVIN JACKSON | DAIL

Credit: Dan Kloock

Kent State sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis has never been to Philadelphia. He grew up in Pennsylvania, played high school football in Pittsburgh, but he never made the trek to the eastern part of the Keystone State. That will change tomorrow when he and the rest of the Golden Flashes travel to the City of Brotherly Love to play Temple at Lincoln Financial Field at noon.

Jarvis has been the story of the season, running for a Kent State record 1,429 yards this season, moving to eight on the all-time Kent State rushing list with 2,227 career yards.

Jarvis is fourth in the Mid-American Conference with 11 touchdowns and has been arguably the most consistent player during Kent State’ five game losing streak.

Kent State coach Doug Martin listed Jarvis’ season as one of the biggest positives of a disappointing and frustrating year.

“The hard work’s paying off,” Jarvis said. “The season’s not going the way we’ve liked it, but fortunately, my offensive linemen are blocking well.”

Kent State is on its fourth quarterback. Injuries to junior Julian Edelman, sophomore Anthony Magazu and freshman Giorgio Morgan, has forced the team to start sophomore Jon Brown. Martin said the decision to start Brown over former quarterback, now wide-receiver, sophomore Darren Rogers was because Brown has a better passing arm.

“We’ve not been a great passing team, which has been a little bit disappointing, but we’ve done just enough from keeping people to load up on (Jarvis),” Martin said. “That’s what we’ve got to do these last two games. Teams are going to do everything they can to take him away, and that’s why I think Jon gives us a better chance than Darren because he’s a better thrower and he can make some plays with his arm.”

For Jarvis to continue his stellar season, he’ll have to do it against the No. 1 defense in the MAC.

Temple holds its opponents to a MAC low 380 yards a game and has allowed just 28 touchdowns on the season. They are led by sophomore defensive back Dominique Harris who has 73 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

The Owls are able to bring pressure from both sides on the defensive line, as sophomore defensive ends Junior Galette and Andre Neblett are tied with the team lead in tackles for loss, with 7.5 and both have six sacks.

“They’re a good physical defense,” Jarvis said. “If we can run the football, that will open the pass and give (Brown) easy passes.”

As for the other side of the ball, the Flashes haven’t faced an offense quite like Temple’s, lead by quarterback Vaughn Charlton. The sophomore replaced injured starter junior Adam DiMichele and has passed for 525 yards this season.

The Owls are ranked 115th, out 119 teams, nationally in offense and average just 17 points a game.

The way the Flashes’ defense has been playing, the offensive ranking could be a deceiving statistic. The Flashes have allowed 99 points and 1,471 yards in their last three MAC games, including back-to-back games where they have allowed more than 500 yards of offense.

This week the Flashes tried to regroup and get back to the basics.

“The main thing we’ve been focusing on in practice is wrapping up on tackles,” junior defensive back Rico Murray said.

Murray said the Owls are not to be taken lightly as they finish their first season in the MAC.

“They seem like they got a lot of hungry players out there that love to compete and play,” Murray said.

Contact football reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected]