October 15, 2009

Offense Evolves

Lost in the aftermath of Kent State's 36-35 loss to Bowling Green in the final seconds of Saturday's Homecoming game was the continued improvement of the Golden Flashes' offense.

In the game, the Golden Flashes passed for 141 yards and rushed for 202. Their 6.6 yards per play were a season high.

"I'm really pleased with our offense, where we have come," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "I think it kind of gets overlooked what our offensive players have overcome this season without being unproductive."

What the Flashes have overcome was the loss of fifth-year senior running back Eugene Jarvis and they played just over one quarter with a healthy starting quarterback.

"We lost arguably the best running back in the conference," Martin said. "We thought we were going to have (sophomore quarterback) Giorgio Morgan healthy and we haven't really all year. Giorgio's not played very much."

Even with true freshman quarterback Spencer Keith under center, and injuries to the offensive line, the Golden Flashes have put up over 1,000 yards of offense in their last three games.

"We've got a freshman quarterback playing. We had one game without both our starting guards and yet we have gotten better every week until now," Martin said. "We've played two conference games and in both those games we're averaging 30-something a game. We scored (29) in one; 35 in the other. We're making really good progress offensively, if we keep it moving."

And that's what it comes down to when the Golden Flashes travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., on Saturday for a 4:00 p.m. game against Eastern Michigan. Can Kent State's offense keep its momentum going or will the Golden Flashes suffer from a hang over after the Bowling Green loss?

"That's why this week is so crucial for us offensively," Martin said. "We've got to get better again this week."

Even more impressive than the consistency the Golden Flashes have shown on offense over the past few weeks has been their ability to create explosion plays. So far this season, the offense has produced 16 plays that covered over 20 yards. Six of those plays have gone for touchdowns.

"Ever since I've been an offensive coordinator I've heard this from people, 'well you're scoring too fast,'" Martin said. "I don't care how fast we score, one-play drives are fine with me. I'm interested in points."

Eleven different players have contributed with at least one play of over 20 yards. That gives the Golden Flashes an awful lot of game changing players to go to in crunch time.

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