Flashes have shot against Black Knights

Sean Ammerman

The Kent State football team will get its second chance to prove nay-sayers wrong this weekend when it travels to West Point to take on Army.

Unfortunately, outlook of an upset seems nearly as unlikely as it did last weekend against Minnesota. The Flashes play their first road game of the season tomorrow. And they will be playing in front of one of the most supportive home crowds in college football.

The good news is that Army doesn’t have the depth of Minnesota, its offense isn’t as strong and its defense isn’t as disciplined.

Gone are the days when Army played for national championships and produced Heisman Trophy winners. But no one doubts the Black Knights’ potential when playing in front of thousands of cheering cadets.

After the Minnesota game, Kent State coach Doug Martin told reporters that his team is going to win a lot of football games because “we are a much better football team than we have been in the past.”

On paper the Flashes seem to have some players with talent and experience. Martin seemed especially giddy over the success of running back Eugene Jarvis last week, who is making an offense previously dependent on passing now one that’s multi-dimensional.

Expected to lead that offense once again this week is first-year quarterback Julian Edelman. He is filling in for last year’s starter Michael Machen, who Martin said is out with an injury and is day-to-day.

Martin didn’t specify on what kind of injury Machen has, and refused to answer any questions regarding the matter this week. Machen’s ability to see playing time could be critical – last week it looked like Edelman could use a break after he was sacked five times and threw three interceptions.

Martin’s reluctance to speak on the matter is odd, but more than likely it’s a ploy to keep the team focused on the game and away from being distracted by any negativity. However, the coach did say Edelman was slotted to be the starter regardless of Machen’s injury.

The key to the Flashes getting the upset will be to keep the game close early and not beat themselves with turnovers. Kent State more or less stayed in the game the first half last week only to lose control after a few bad breaks.

Like many football teams in Ohio, the Flashes seem to be cursed every time they set out on the field. The question is if the curse is real or just in their heads.

Many people in the sporting world agree if an athlete perceives a curse to be true, then it is.

Kent State has had one winning season in 17 years, which is the last thing the team needs to be reminded of before it travels to play one of its toughest games. Many fans are anxious for the team to get over the hump.

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