Final score was no indication of who was the better team Saturday

Sean Ammerman

Kent State football coach Doug Martin was so sure of his team’s ability to beat Army on Saturday that he had it practice the game-ending kneel down and celebration during a walk-through before the game.

The team never got a chance to run the play once the whistle blew.

It was unfortunate, because despite their 17-14 loss to the Black Knights, the Flashes were the best players on the field.

We didn’t look great, but we looked better than Army.

Anyone who watched the game could see sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman mature with every play. He started out hesitant and inconsistent in the first half, reluctant to pass despite a solid performance by the offensive line.

The second half was a different story. Edelman didn’t rely on his rushing as much, and Kent State took over the game.

Whatever Martin told his team at half time worked. Both the defense and offense controlled Army.

Army quarterback David Pevoto, who drove his team to two touchdowns in the first half, was left confused by the Flashes’ changing defensive schemes.

Edelman resorted to fewer risky bonehead quarterback moves and started showing signs of a potential leader.

It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Flashes deserved that game.

Edelman’s fumble in overtime may have led to Army’s game-winning field goal, but you could hardly say it was his fault we lost. Two trips to the red zone that didn’t produce scores should have ended the game in regulation.

But should-have’s and could-have’s aren’t good enough when a team is going on eleven straight losses.

The difference between the L and the W for the Flashes yesterday lay in the details.

There was a fumble here, a penalty there – things that made winning more difficult than it should have been. These are the necessary subtleties that should be ingrained in every football team. The Flashes lacked these subtleties Saturday, and it cost them the game.

Kicker Reid Macko’s missed field goal from the 23-yard line came from a botched snap. A routine score resulted in nothing for the Flashes.

Army didn’t beat Kent State, Kent State beat itself.

Instead of Kent State’s first non-conference road win since 1987, the team was treated to cadets doing pushups in celebration for Army.

Before the Flashes practice their after-game celebration, they should concentrate on playing a four-quarter football game.

Contact assistant sports reporter Sean Ammerman at [email protected].