August 25, 2010

What we know: Offense




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With just over a week left until Kent State kicks off the 2010 season against
Murray State head coach Doug Martin and his staff are running out
of time to finalize the Golden Flashes depth chart.


Here's a look at where things stand now on the offense.














 
QUARTERBACK



Spencer Keith

The
Golden Flashes are in good shape at quarterback. Sophomore Spencer
Keith
returns after setting school freshman
records with 2,147 passing yards and 14 touchdowns thrown. He did that
in just seven starts.


Keith has shown no ill effects of the shoulder injury that prematurely
ended his freshman campaign in 2009. In fact, he's bigger and stronger
than he was last season, which should help him remain injury free.


Redshirt junior Giorgio Morgan, last year's opening day
starter, recently took control of the battle for the backup quarterback
job. Morgan had been neck-and-neck with freshman Cedric McClould ever since spring drills, but recently Morgan's play locked him
in as Keith's backup.

Concern: Keeping
a quarterback healthy for a 12-game regular season is almost impossible
in college football, especially at Kent State where the Flashes have used
nearly a dozen different quarterbacks over the past several seasons. Until
recently the depth at quarterback was a concern. Morgan has stepped up
his play but will need to remain consistent throughout the season if the
Flashes are to compete for their first conference championship since 1972.

RUNNING BACK




Eugene Jarvis


There
isn't much not to like at running back.
The Golden Flashes have three players that could start for almost any
school in the conference. Sixth-year senior Eugene Jarvis
is an all-conference performer, and at full strength he provides the
Flashes
with a dangerous weapon any time he touches the football. Junior Jacquise
Terry
and sophomore Dri Archer combined
for over 900 rushing yards in Jarvis' absence last season. Even
freshman Rob Hollomon has played so
well in camp it will be hard to redshirt him in 2010.

Concern: There isn't much not to like at running
back. Obviously, keeping Jarvis healthy is a concern, but there's
enough depth at the position to keep him from being overworked. A concussion
has kept senior Andre Flowers out of action for much of training
camp. Should that injury persist the Flashes likely will turn to the freshman
Hollomon to provide depth.

WIDE RECEIVER




Tyshon Goode

Aside
from running back the Kent State wide receivers just might be the deepest
position group on the squad. Sophomore Tyshon Goode teamed
up with Keith last season to create one of the most productive quarterback-wide
receiver combinations in school history.


Seniors Leneric Muldrow and Anthony Bowman and juniors
Sam Kirkland, Kendrick Pressley and Chris Gilbert provide plenty of skill and experience to the position.


There's also plenty of talent rising through the ranks as sophomore
Matt Hurdle and freshmen Ed Cazenave and Sam Miller have turned in strong performances in camp.

Concern: Depth
isn't a concern at wide receiver, as we learned in the Flashes' first
scrimmage when Goode and Kirkland both sat out with minor injuries.
Consistency, however, has plagued the Flashes at wide receiver for
the past several seasons. If Kent State makes a run at the MAC title
they'll need the wide receivers to make plays. The wide outs
need to show up the same way every practice and every game. That's
been a problem the coaching staff hopes to have ironed out by the start
of the 2010 season.

TIGHT END




Justin Thompson

During the pre-season the Flashes looked strong
at tight end. Senior Jon Simpson and junior Justin Thompson would compete for the starting job, elevating the performance of both
players. Then Simpson ran into academic trouble and it looks like he'll
redshirt this season. That left the Flashes short on depth and they turned
to walk-on linebacker Tim Erjavec to fill the gap. Erjavec played
tight end in a spread offense in high school, so he's pretty comfortable
at the position and he's played well in camp with the ones and
the twos. Thompson played in the final six games of the 2009 season after
fully recovering from a knee injury he suffered in 2008.


Concern: Depth is concern here. Thompson played in just
six games last season after recovering from a knee injury and he's
the only tight end in the depth chart with any game experience. The Flashes
like to use double tight end sets, so that obviously creates an issue.

OFFENSIVE LINE




Brian Winters

Kent State's first string offensive line has
proven during camp to be effective in pass protection and run blocking.
Junior center Chris Anzevino, a member of the Rimington Award
watch list, anchors a unit that is as big and talented as any the Golden
Flashes have seen in the last 30 years. Left tackle Brian Winters started every game of his freshman season in 2009 and is among the most
talented linemen on the roster. Junior left guard Mike Fay and
sophomore right tackle Kent Cleveland have plenty of experience
despite their relative youth.


Concern: While Kent State's first offensive line
has played well the second group hasn't. As a unit the second team
hasn't jelled but several players have stepped up including redshirt
freshman Tyler Arend, who is listed as the No. 1 left guard, and
freshman Phil Huff, who is working at center. The Flashes need
more depth up front, which means players that have been in the system have
to step up their games.


Stay tuned to KentSportsReport.com for a look at the defense.




















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