College Football News Preview 2020: Kent State Golden Flashes Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Kent State Golden Flashes Offense
The offensive line has to give everyone time to work. It was the strange part about the Kent State season. The offense was able to hammer out the running game from time to time – tearing off 200 yards or more in seven of the last ten games, and 197 in another – and there weren’t any problems converting on third downs for most of the year.
But even though the offense only had the ball for just over 26 minutes a game, and even with so much success, there were way, way too many plays allowed in the backfield.
With four starters expected to be back, the Golden Flash front five has to be tighter after finishing 127 in the nation in tackles for loss allowed and 121st in sacks given up.
Biggest Key To The Kent State Golden Flashes Defense
The run defense has to figure out how to come up with more stops. For all of the problems Kent State has had over the years, the run defense was often fantastic – allowing fewer than 2,000 rushing yards the year wasn’t out of the norm. The 2,643 given up in 2018 was all-time awful for the program, and then last year’s defense allowed 3,181.
There’s absolutely no size on the front seven, the defensive backs have to make way too many plays, and holding up against anyone who blasts away will once again be a problem.
The Golden Flashes allowed over 200 yards eight times, gave up over 300 yards in three of those games, and allowed 467 yards to Auburn.
Kent State doesn’t need to be a brick wall, but it just has to not be miserable.
Key Kent State Golden Flashes Player To A Successful Season
RB Xavier Williams, Jr.
Where are the running backs? There was only one – 5-6, 185-pound Marquez Cooper – in the recruiting class, and as this is written there are only four true backs on the roster. Three of them are underclassmen, and Williams is a junior.
The 5-9, 186-pounder only ran 86 times with 393 yards and four scores, but all four of those touchdowns came over the last four games – all wins. He also caught two scores, including one as a part of the phenomenal comeback win over Buffalo. Now he has to be an even bigger part of the offense.
Key Game To The Kent State Golden Flashes Season
at Northern Illinois, Oct. 3
Can Kent State get its groove back? Can it keep the magic going from the end of last year? Forget about doing anything better than a 1-3 start with road dates at Penn State, Kentucky and Alabama, but lose at Northern Illinois – and this comes after going to Tuscaloosa – and it’s going to be an uphill climb to get to six wins and a bowl.
– Kent State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Kent State Fun Stats
– Sacks: Opponents 41 for 206 yards – Kent State 25 for 132 yards
– Time of Possession: Opponents 33:44 – Kent State 26:09
– Interceptions Thrown: Opponents 7 – Kent State 2