Flashes continue fight for winning record

Deanna Stevens

One more win makes KSU bowl eligible

Kent State football coach Doug Martin said he explained the new position in the standings at the team meeting, and then he told the team to put it out of their minds.

Both the Bobcats and the Flashes are tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference with a 4-1 record. With three conference games left to play, Ohio owns the tie-breaker if the teams finish with the same record.

But Martin said Ohio’s remaining games are not important to the Flashes.

“If we don’t take care of our business, then it doesn’t matter what happens with Ohio, ” Martin said.

After the match up against the Bobcats, Martin said he was most disappointed in the punting game, which put Ohio in excellent field position and led to three touchdowns.

Not converting on big plays was an issue as well for the Flashes.

More specifically, when the weather lightened up and Kent State wasn’t able to take advantage of the passing game.

“When you make those plays, you win big games,” Martin said. “If you don’t make them, you lose. And that definitely hurt us.”

The weather, also had a major effect on the Flashes’ game plan. Martin said Ohio’s weakness is its passing defense, so if Kent State had an opportunity to throw the ball more it could have been a different outcome.

Along with not converting, the Flashes were not as meticulous about some details of the game.

“When you’ve been on a winning streak like we were, you start to think it’s naturally going to happen again instead of really focusing on every little detail, which is how we got to be on a five-game winning streak,” Martin said. “So that may have caught us a little bit too.”

The Flashes (5-3, 4-1 MAC) will have an opportunity to win their sixth game when they face Buffalo (1-7, 0-5 MAC) this weekend. A win will make it the fourth time in 30 years that they have not had a losing season.

“What we’ve got to do to continue to move this football program ahead is we’ve got to secure a winning season,” Martin said.

Martin added that going into this game after a loss makes it that much more important.

“To me this is one of the biggest games we’ve played at Kent State for a long time,” Martin said. “The reason Kent State has had losing streaks for so long is the inability to rebound from a loss.”

Avoiding consecutive losses is important, he said, because it will guarantee a winning record for the Flashes

Kent State had already lost back-to-back games at the beginning of the season against Minnesota and Army. Martin said this game is “another hurdle” the team can get over.

“The mark of a great team is they don’t lose two games in a row,” Martin said.

Contact football reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].