The good news for Kent State football fans is that their team has yet another chance at rebirth this weekend at Miami.
The game officially begins the Mid-American Conference leg of the Flashes’ schedule, which could be argued as its most important part.
Of course every game matters, and the Flashes had something to play for the past two weeks, but those two games in all likelihood will have no barring on post-season play. Kent State can loose all non-conference games and still make it to a bowl game if they do well in the MAC.
Miami is in a situation similar to Kent State, after being blown out in its opening game and loosing its second in overtime by a field goal, the team is eager for its first win.
That the RedHawks came within a field goal of defeating Big Ten foe Purdue shows they will be no easy test. No one needs to be reminded of how Kent State faired last time it played a Big Ten team.
By the way, you might be wondering how Minnesota did after slaughtering Kent State. The Golden Gophers lost 42-17 to No. 22 California. This could either be a sign of the massive disparity amongst the 119 Division I-A football teams, or proof that any team can rout another on any given Saturday.
Anyhow, Miami is not just another push-over MAC team. It has competed with respected schools in the past, and was picked to finish No. 2 in the MAC East Division in the preseason coaches poll.
The RedHawks strength lays in their passing attack. Their quarterback, Mike Kokal, threw for more than 350 yards last week against Purdue. That’s more passing yards in one game than Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman has had all season.
The match-up of a passing-dominant offense against Kent State’s defense could work in the Flashes’ favor.
Thus far, Kent State has only faced teams with offenses focused on rushing. While the rushing defense has been flimsy, the passing defense has been successful.
Kent State’s defensive backs held Army to 104 passing yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Minnesota’s passing attack was held to less than 150 yards with one interception and one touchdown (five touchdowns were scored by runs).
Miami’s offense, mixed with sub-par defense, could be just the formula for snapping a Kent State 11-game loosing streak.
To break that streak, the Flashes have to continue to play smart and not fumble opportunities. In particular they will need to play as they did in the second half against Army when they quit throwing wild passes and played with intelligence.
Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected]