Flashes prepare for Ohio, Solich

Kali Price

Sophomore quarterback Michael Machen passes to redshirt freshman Tony Smith in Saturday’s 27-10 loss to Miami. The Flashes (1-2, 0-1 MAC) face Ohio (1-2) tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State football team has a chance to redeem itself in the Mid-American Conference tomorrow.

The Flashes (1-3, 0-1 MAC) travel to Athens to take on Ohio (1-2) at 2 p.m.

The Bobcats begin their MAC season after getting routed 45-0 by No. 4 Virginia Tech last Saturday.

Even though the Bobcats were slaughtered by the Hokies, that doesn’t stop Kent State from having some concern for tomorrow.

“I think Ohio is a really good defensive football team, which they’ve always been. They’ve always been in the top three in defense,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “They’ve got some speed corners and they play really hard. Offensively, obviously the option causes you some problems and I don’t think they know how good they are on offense, and we don’t either because of the competition they’ve been playing. It’ll probably be a good game to see where they are too.”

The Bobcats began the season in a disappointing 38-14 loss at Northwestern, but picked up a 16-10, win in overtime against Pitt before the loss to the Hokies.

Ohio is under the command of Frank Solich, who was hired on Dec. 16, 2004.

Solich came to Ohio from Nebraska, where he led the Huskers to six consecutive bowl games and a national championship game in the 2001 Rose Bowl against Miami.

Martin said Ohio is a much different team under Solich.

“There’s a big flavor of Nebraska to them,” Martin said, “but they’ve also got some things that they didn’t do at Nebraska. They’re a little bit different, but you can tell the basics are there of the Nebraska offense. I think they’ve got pretty good personnel for what they want to do. I don’t know that they quite have maybe the quarterback that they’re looking for yet. But I think everything’s in place for them. I think they’re trying to gravitate more to throwing the ball than to what they did at Nebraska.”

After the Flashes’ 27-10 Homecoming loss to Miami of Ohio, Martin said he hopes sophomore quarterback Michael Machen can run the ball more, but keep throwing for over 300 yards per game.

“(The Flashes) are averaging over 50 passes a game, so they’re definitely committed to the throwing game,” said Solich in a Tuesday press conference. “They operate almost exclusively with their quarterback. (Machen) is big, and I don’t think they’re designing a lot of runs with him.”

To Solich and the Bobcats, the Flashes’ offense poses a threat for the defense.

“There’s a concern. (The Flashes) are somewhat different in that there are times where they have huge line splits, very much like Texas Tech,” Solich said. “They’re somewhat similar, in terms of what they’re trying to do, to Texas Tech. They’re taking that approach a little bit. There is a concern that if you get to where you’re so spread out, they get you in one-on-one matchups in the passing game. If you’re not able to handle those matchups, then you’re in trouble.”

Contact assistant sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].