Season, Edelman’s wrist broken

Joe Harrington


Kent State’s postseason hopes are most likely finished after Saturday’s 31-20 loss to Bowling Green at Dix Stadium. Junior quarterback Julian Edelman will finish the season early after breaking a bone in his right arm, while linebacker Cedrick Maxwell finished the game early for throwing punches after a Bowling Green touchdown.

In a season where “finish” is the team motto, Saturday’s game had a lot of it, just not the type of “finishing” the coaches were asking for. The Flashes failed to convert on crucial situations throughout the game.

Ten penalties, mostly holding calls or false starts on the offensive line, killed drives repeatedly in the redzone. The struggles in the redzone are an example of how the Flashes struggle to “finish,” but at least they’re aware of the problem.

“We just commit dumb penalties,” sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis said. “It’s just the little things we’ve got to get back to and correct and take it from there.”

Jarvis, who has been the most consistent player on a team that struggles with consistency, ran for more than a 100 yards in the first half for the fourth time this season. The Pittsburgh native has now rushed for 1,103 yards this season, the first Kent State running back to do that in 11 years. Jarvis finished the game with 168 yards on 33 carries. Yet, the spotlight was not on Jarvis at the end of the game — it was all about Edelman.

Kent State coach Doug Martin revealed that Edelman has been playing with a posterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee since the Kentucky game and now will be forced to sit out the rest of the season with a broken radius bone in his right wrist. Before being injured in the fourth quarter, he had thrown for 128 yards — all in the second half — and had a 32-yard touchdown pass to freshman Rashad Tukes. He also ran for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Martin now must make a decision on who will start for the Flashes next week against Central Michigan.

“I haven’t made that decision yet,” Martin said. “I’m going to sleep on it and make the decision that is best for our football team, not only for this year, but for next year.”

If the defense gives up as many rushing yards as they did against Bowling Green, it probably won’t matter who plays quarterback for the Flashes.

The Falcons entered the game averaging 76 yards a game on the ground, but ended up with 197 rushing yards. However, freshman Willie Geter had 203 yards rushing, the first Falcon to gain more than 200 yards since 2004, and averaged 9.2 yards per carry.

The Flashes’ defense had been expecting the Falcons to utilize its potent passing attack, especially since the defense had played well against the run all season. Instead, the Falcons ran 37 times, the most all season, for two touchdowns.

“We prepared to play the pass and the run, but they switched up what they usually do and they caught us off guard a little bit,” senior defensive back Jack Williams said. “We tried to adjust, but we had a little trouble.”

Martin said the defensive strategy was to try and put pressure on the quarterback by using junior linebacker Jameson Konz as a defensive end, but after Bowling Green had success running the ball, the idea was finished.

“It was a good wrinkle on their part, but by the same token, we still have to play better than that,” Martin said.

The defense lost one of its best players in the second quarter, but not to an injury. Junior linebacker Cedrick Maxwell was flagged for a personal foul and kicked out of the game for throwing a punch after Bowling Green’s junior quarterback Anthony Turner ran for a four-yard touchdown.

With four games remaining, the Flashes need to win the rest of its games to secure its first winning season since 2004. The Flashes must over come injuries, penalties and the younger players’ lack of experience to accomplish its No. 1 goal on the season: to finish. Now the Flashes must refocus and play up to their potential.

“We’ve got a pretty good football team right now that’s just not playing as well as they should be,” Martin said. “I know our guys have the right stuff, we just need to get better and that starts (yesterday) in practice.”


Team MVP

-Eugene Jarvis is reshaping the Kent State record books this season. The sophomore is now the 12th Kent State running back to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He also is the first to do it since former Kent State quarterback and current Cleveland Brown, Joshua Cribbs, had 1,057 yards in 2002. Jarvis has six 100 or more rushing games on the season and in four of those games he had 100 yards in the first half. He is now the nation’s second-leading rusher with 1,103 yards. Tulane’s Matt Forte has 1,261 yards after rushing for 342 yards against Southern Methodist on Saturday.

The streak continues

-Nate Reed made two field goals against the Falcons to make it 11 straight kicks through the uprights. The sophomore has not missed since the Ohio game and has now become one of the Flashes’ best weapons. As a team, Kent State was just 2-10 last season on field goals.

Wait till next year

-Kent State returns 19 starters and handfuls of letter winners in 2008. With four games remaining, the Flashes will attempt to gain some momentum for the 2008 season by continuing to shuffle in young players, such as sophomore Dante Campbell and Pat Reedy, on the offensive line and defensive back field. The Flashes start just two seniors, Jack Williams and Colin Ferrell, on defense and three on offense, Joe Marafine, Tom Sitko – who could return next season for a sixth year- and Shawn Donaldson.


-Kent State has been penalized 10 or more times in four of its last five games, excluding the Ohio State game, in which the Flashes had just one penalty.

Bowled over

-The Flashes are 16-53-6 against Bowling Green and have lost four straight games at home against the Falcons.

Julian Edelman and the Quarterbacks

-Edelman passed for 1,318 yards and had seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions, almost all of which was done on a injured knee. The junior is expected to be the starting quarterback in 2008, but that may change after the next four games.

There are several options the Flashes have at quarterback. Sophomore Anthony Magazu, who hurt his ankle against Ohio State, may not be healthy enough to play the rest of the season. Sophomore Jon Brown hasn’t played much since 2005, when he started one game that season. The Flashes prepared sophomore Darren Rogers as the back-up against Bowling Green, but Rogers’ arm is suspect. Martin may go with freshman Giorgio Morgan, whom he has been trying to redshirt this season. No matter who Martin picks, the Flashes will face a tough time replacing the leadership and running ability of Edelman’s game.

Contact football reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected].