Flashes face Rockets for Homecoming

Deanna Stevens

The Flashes will have a “monstrous task” when they play the Toledo Rockets this weekend, Kent State coach Doug Martin said.

“This is the best football team we’ve played so far,” Martin said. “People look at their record and think other wise, but without turnovers, they dominated the game with Central Michigan.”

The Rockets (2-4, 0-2 Mid American Conference) are coming off losses to Central Michigan, 42-20, and Pittsburgh, 45-3.

But Martin said the Rockets have a dangerous defense because of their defensive coordinator, Tim Rose.

Rose was the defensive coordinator at East Carolina when Martin was its offensive coordinator.

“He is very, very difficult to get a read on,” Martin added. “Our kids will have to be very sharp to move the ball against this defense.”

It’s hard to prepare for the Rockets because “their scheme is really difficult to get a grasp on,” Martin said.

In order to overcome their defense, Martin said the Flashes will rely on sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman to pass the ball consistently.

“This is another game very similar to Akron,” Martin said. “We are going to have to come out and throw the ball effectively to get them off of us so we can run it.”

While the Rockets use an elusive defensive strategy, they are giving up more than 33 points per game. However, that average is high because they have consistently let other teams score off of turnovers. Martin said the Flashes have to capitalize on those types of mistakes as well.

“Our defense has got to go get the football,” Martin said. “We have got to cause a lot of turnovers in this game.”

The Flashes’ defense will have to watch out for what Martin called a “well-balanced offense” with freshman Aaron Opelt at quarterback and junior running back Jalen Parmele.

Martin said Opelt, like Edelman, is mobile and is a threat with the deep pass.

“I think they found themselves a quarterback, with Opelt, who can definitely make some things happen for them,” Martin said. “He’s really going to allow them to expand their offense a little bit more.”

Kent State earned its first non-conference road win since 1987 at Temple last Saturday. Martin said the Flashes could not play the way they did against the Owls and expect to beat the Rockets.

Last week the Flashes had 207 passing yards and added another 208 yards rushing in the game.ÿ

Contact football reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].

Toledo at Kent State

Who: Toledo vs Kent State

When: Tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Where: Dix Stadium

Kent State’s record: 4-2 overall, 3-0 MAC

Toledo’s record: 2-4 overall, 0-2 MAC

Toledo’s Coach: Tom Amstutz has a 47-22 all-time record and is in his sixth season at Toledo

Last meeting: The Flashes lost to the Rockets 47-7 in 1999 and lead the all-time series 22-20.

TV/Radio: Audio and video will be available in the K-Zone at www.kentstatesports.com. The game can also be heard on WHLO-AM 640.