2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 124 Kent State Golden Flashes
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Kent State Golden Flashes
No. 124: Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State Golden Flashes Prespring Status
Will the program be able to find any positive consistency? The miraculous 2012 season seems like a million years ago as Kent State has been relegated into dregs status over the last our seasons. But it’s the MAC, and all it takes is one year of the right chemistry, the right blend, and the right schedule – look at Eastern Michigan last year – to rise up and shock the world. As always, the Golden Flash D should be solid, the O will struggle, and considering the expected rise of several MAC teams, it’s going to take a big effort and a few major breaks for Paul Haynes to turn this around.
Kent State Golden Flashes Biggest Issue
The defense has to find leaders again. Star safety Nate Holley was lost in the last few weeks to a rough off-the-field issue, and the defense was never quite the same. With LB Nick Cuthbert also gone, along with end Terence Waugh and big-hitter Najee Murray, the D that uncharacteristically gave up 31 points or more in seven games – it allowed 31 or more just four times in 2015 and three times in 2014 – won’t be able to carry the woeful offense.
Kent State Golden Flashes Biggest Positive
The overall production might not have been there, but the offense gets back just enough talent and experience to hope for far, far more. QB Nick Holley led the team with 920 rushing yards and ten scores, while all 2,010 yards and 15 touchdowns of rushing production will be back. Justin Rankin is a promising do-it-all-back, and the freshman receivers who go their feet wet last season should be ready to make a bigger impact.
Really, Why Are The Kent State Golden Flashes Ranked Here?
The Golden Flashes will finish better than 124th, but going into the spring, there are way too many concerns on the defensive side, and way too much uncertainty on offense, to expect anything more than a battle to be relevant in the MAC. If the offensive skill spots start to rise up and rock in spring practices, and if the defensive holes get filled in a hurry, expect this ranking to rise up just before the season.