Preparing for Iowa State more difficult off the field than on

Joe Harrington

Kent State kicks off its 2007 football season tomorrow night at Iowa State. It will be the first time the Flashes have traveled to Ames, Iowa to face the Cyclones since 1982 when Kent State lost 44-7.

Iowa State poses a difficult task for the Flashes, not because they’re a Big 12 team and not necessarily for their on-field accomplishments, but for their revamped coaching staff. This offseason, Iowa State hired former University of Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik as the head coach, which means last year’s tapes are useless in preparing for the game.

“It’s tough because we don’t have any film to study of them and, obviously, they do of us,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “That’s an advantage for them right off the bat. But you just make your best guess of what you’re going to see and go from there.”

Martin has stressed to his players to worry only about themselves, and he said the only thing his players can control is their own execution.

Iowa State has several key returning starters from last year including senior Quarterback Bret Meyer, the programs all-time leader in passing yards and total yards. Meyer will also have his one of his favorite targets back.

Senior wide receiver Todd Blythe will be one of the most difficult match-ups the Flashes will face all year. The 6-5 Blythe will likely will be covered by 5-9 senior Jack Williams, who had four interceptions last season.

“We’re gonna have to do a good job hitting him at the line of scrimmage and not letting him down the field,” Martin said.

On defense, Iowa State returns senior linebacker Alvin “Ace” Bowen, who led the nation with nearly 13 tackles per game, but Kent State sophomore running-back Eugene Jarvis is ready for the challenge.

“We’ve got speed against this team,” Jarvis said. “They do have the nation’s leading tackler, but our offensive linemen are hungry and ready to play.”

Senior defensive lineman Colin Ferrell said he just wants the season to start.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and finally playing,” he said ” We’ve been in camp for going on a month.”

Ferrell said the defense doesn’t have to do anything special against Iowa State. They just have to worry about themselves – just as coach Martin wants.

“It’s a game we feel pretty confident going into,” he said. “We just want to go out there and have a good game.”

Contact football reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected].