Flashes send troops to Army

Deanna Stevens

Kent State sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman looks for an open man during Thursday’s 44-0 loss to Minnesota at Dix Stadium. GAVIN JACKSON | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

After a disappointing season opener, the Kent State football team will see how it can do on the road for the first time this season when it travels to New York to take on Army this weekend.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and turn things around,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said.

The Flashes (0-1) will face the Black Knights (0-1) at 1 p.m., Saturday, at West Point.

“We’ve got a great venue to play in this week,” Martin said. “It’s a fantastic place to play college football.”

Army’s Michie Stadium was voted No. 3 in Sports Illustrated’s top 20 venues, behind Yankee Stadium and Augusta National. Martin described the venue as electrifying.

But Army’s atmosphere will be even better for the Flashes if they can learn from, and avoid, the mistakes made in their 44-0 season-opening loss to Minnesota.

Martin said the major problem the team had against the Golden Gophers was turning over the ball.

“We felt that we’ve really improved,” Martin said. “But the key for us, really for the whole season, is going to be turnover margin.”

Kent State had three interceptions and five fumbles; three resulted in turnovers.

The team’s improvements in rushing and strength of the offensive line show a lot of promise for the rest of the season, he added.

The team ran for more than 130 yards against Minnesota. Redshirt freshman running back Eugene Jarvis was responsible for most of those yards, with 109 yards on 15 carries.

“Minnesota had a hard time tackling him,” Martin said. “Even when they run-blocked, he was able to make people miss. He has tremendous acceleration and vision on the field.”

Martin added the offensive line was able to stand its ground better than it had in the past.

Sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman made his debut with the Flashes, putting up 103 yards passing and 29 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Michael Machen did not play due to an undisclosed injury. Martin said Machen’s condition is day-to-day and did not disclose if he would make his first appearance against Army.

Even with the positives, Kent State has its work cut out playing a team like Army.

The Black Knights shut out the Mid-American Conference champion Akron Zips last season 20-0 in Akron and finished 4-7 overall.

The four victories marked the best finish for the Black Knights since 1996.

However, Army is also looking for its first win of 2006 after losing to Arkansas State 14-6 Saturday.

Contact football reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].