When the Kent State Golden Flashes invade Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for the 11:20 a.m. season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, new head coach Darrell Hazell will officially begin his head coaching career at Kent State University.
Hazell, who spent the past seven seasons as a member of the Ohio State coaching staff, will look to improve a Kent State program that finished the 2010 campaign with an overall record of 5-7, which included a 4-4 record in the Mid-American Conference.
Kent State Offense
On the offensive side of the ball, the Golden Flashes are led by quarterback Spencer Keith. As a sophomore, Keith threw for 2,212 yards including eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Wide receiver Tyshon Goode, who led the Golden Flashes in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns in 2010, will once again play a vital role in the KSU offensive attack.
In respect to the ground game, Kent State is expected to be led by Jacquise Terry. The KSU featured back rushed for over 500 yards in 2010 while the Golden Flashes as a team ranked 100th (FBS) in rushing. Terry suffered a shoulder injury during a preseason scrimmage and is currently listed as “probable” for the contest against Alabama.
Kent State Defense
Over the course of the 2010 season, Kent State surrendered a total of 22.9 points per game while holding the opposition to only 97 yards of total rushing per contest. However, the Golden Flashes only return a total of five starters on defense for the 2011 campaign…so depth will be an issue.
Defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix is the “glue” for Kent State in respect to the frontline. As a true freshman in 2010, Nix was named the MAC (Mid-American Conference) Defensive Player of the Year. With depth being a concern on the KSU defense, Nix will need to continue to perform at a high level in 2011.
Kent State/Alabama Verdict
While Alabama is a 35-point (plus) favorite over Kent State, the Golden Flashes will leave Bryant-Denny Stadium with a generous check and plenty of learning experience for the remainder and bulk of the 2011 season.
Nick Saban’s alma mater will not defeat the No. 2 team in the country, but they’ll be primed and ready to do damage in the Mid-American Conference thanks to this critical experience.
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