October 27, 2009
Despite obstacles, KSU keeps pace
With its win over Ohio on Saturday, Kent State improved to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes haven't been perfect, far from it, and there is plenty left for the team to accomplish this season.
But, after overcoming the loss of star running back Eugene Jarvis and an injury to starting quarterback Giorgio Morgan that led Martin to pull the redshirt off true freshman Spencer Keith, you'll have to excuse head coach Doug Martin for being just a bit shocked his team has played as well as it has.
"We've had so much to deal with with losing Eugene and playing a true freshman quarterback," Martin said. "If you told me that we were going to be 3-1 in the conference at the beginning of the season and that was going to happen, I would have been shocked."
Every team suffers through injuries, but in Kent State's case, the Golden Flashes typically haven't been able to overcome key personnel losses. This year's team has done that, at least thus far.
"I think we're probably ahead of where I expected us to be now under those circumstances," Martin said. "I think Spencer is playing like a sophomore quarterback and not like a freshman quarterback and I think our running backs have picked up the pace."
With sophomore Jacquise Terry picking up his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season on Saturday and Keith leading the charge offensively, other players have followed suit, especially the corps of wide receivers Martin was counting on this season to become a strength of the team.
"Our receivers are coming along really well," he said. "I had really hoped that we could have an effective group up there that could make plays. We've got several guys that are stepping up-(Sam Kirkland) made a couple big plays there Saturday along with (Tyshon Goode) and Jameson Konz is kind of going overlooked, but he had some key blocks where he just absolutely killed their linebackers, one on a crack back block that provided Jacquise with a big gain. He's doing some great things too."
As a whole, Martin's team has come together just as he thought it could.
"Offensively, I think we're pretty much on pace. Defensively, we thought defense could be a strength for us. I think we're getting there; getting a little bit more consistent," he said. "Special teams has been the most pleasant surprise. Freddy Cortez hit a couple big field goals there Saturday; he's kicked off really well. Coach (Zane Vance) has done a great job with our schemes. So we're a little bit better there than I thought we'd be."
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