Quarterback earns MAC East Offensive Player of the Week

Deanna Stevens

Kent State quarterback Jullian Edelman escapes Miami defensive back Joey Card during Saturday’s game. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

Before the Kent State football team’s upset against Miami, coach Doug Martin said he wanted to increase the passing threat of the Flashes’ offense.

After his role in the 16-14 win Saturday, sophomore quarterback Julian Edelman is starting to take to Martin’s tailoring.

“He made a lot of progress from the Army game to the Miami game throwing the ball,” Martin said. “We came into the game with the mind-set that we were going to throw the ball early. And we really opened things up for Julian and let him play.”

The result of Martin’s decision ended in career highs for Edelman.

He threw 14 completions out of 22 attempts for 244 yards and one touchdown.

His performance not only led to the Flashes’ first win, but also earned him the Mid-American Conference East Offensive Player of the Week.

The College of San Mateo transfer is the first Kent State player to win the honor since Josh Cribs in 2004.

Edelman said he was more focused on keeping the winning streak going than personal awards.

“I just want to win, and that could be a distraction,” Edelman said. “I’d rather just forget about it and perform better.”

Martin added that Edelman’s decision-making skills continue to improve.

“I thought he did a nice job of running at the appropriate times,” Martin said, as opposed to making the decision to run before the snap.

Against Miami, he rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries. That total included a 1-yard run for his first rushing touchdown of the season.

After a tough start against Minnesota, Edelman has consistently improved his passing yards in each game. This season he has 30 completions on 57 attempts and five interceptions.

Edelman displayed his improved passing skills against the RedHawks. But his mobility has made him an even bigger threat. In the first three games he is the Flashes’ second leading rusher with 174 yards on 47 carries.

Edelman will face the MAC Defensive Player of the Week, free safety Jerett Sanderson, when the Kent State takes on Bowling Green at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The game will be last of the Kent State’s three-game road trip before they head home to face Akron.

Kent State defensive end Daniel Muir said practicing against a quarterback like Edelman, who can run as well as he can pass, will help the team prepare for Bowling Green quarterback Anthony Turner.

Turner had 12 completions on 22 attempts and totaled 185 yards passing in the Falcons’ 33-28 win against Florida International. He added 59 yards rushing on 17 carries.

In order to continue the Flashes’ momentum, Edelman said they have to continue to run and pass the ball well.

“We are going to have to throw the ball,” Edelman said. “I think they are going to try to test our passing game again. We’re also going to have to run the ball. We are going to have to be balanced. That’s the key to a successful offense.”

Contact football reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].