KENT, Ohio-Kent State head coach Doug Martin got
out of his team what he was looking for during Thursday night's scrimmage
of nearly 2,000 fans who attended the Golden Flashes' Fan Experience at
In addition to enjoying the new tailgating area inside the Kent State Field
House the fans got a sneak preview of the 2010 Golden Flashes. Their first
look was a good one as sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith engineered
a 6-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped by a 26-yard touchdown pass to classmate
"I thought it was awesome," Martin said. "For this many
people to come out, and I guess they had a huge crowd in the field house I
was told for the tailgating part of it, having the band, the cheerleaders here,
this is a big lift for us."
During last Saturday's scrimmage Kent State's offense struggled
to pick up first downs. That wasn't the case on Thursday as Keith, who
hit on his first eight passes, marched the offense up and down the field.
"Our offense moved the ball really good that whole first half," Martin
said. "Even the drives we got stopped were good drives."
The offense came out of the gate quickly scoring on its first possession but
the defense responded by limiting the offense to just three Freddy Cortez field goals to close out the team scrimmage portion of the evening.
"(The red zone offense) was not as sharp as what I'd hoped. We
make the plays throwing the ball down there," Martin said. "Our defense played
well. When you get
you've got to be able to catch touchdown passes, stretch the defense,
get the ball deep in the end zone. I don't think we protected well enough
to get that done during the red zone part of the scrimmage."
The defense got better as the scrimmage progressed and even scored a touchdown
when sophomore Jake Dooley stripped freshman quarterback Cedric McCloud and freshman
end Richard Gray scooped up the loose ball and ran it back 32 yards for the score.
"I was really pleased. I thought it kind of went back and forth, which
is what I expected," Martin said. "Our offense early was really
sharp, really sharp. The defense responded in the second half. They got their
feelings hurt and came back and played pretty good."
Keith completed 18-of-26 passes for 159 yards with the touchdown pass to Goode
and one interception. Goode caught five passes for 79 yards and junior Kendrick Pressley hauled in seven passes for 46 yards.
As a team Kent State rushed 41 times for 217 yards.
"We just executed the plays that were called," said sixth-year
running back Eugene Jarvis, who carried five times for 21 yards. "Coach
did a good job of calling plays and the whole offense, we bought into it and
executed pretty well today."
Many of Kent State's younger players continued to perform well including
freshman running back Rob Hollomon, who led the team in rushing for
the second straight scrimmage. He carried 17 times for 108 yards.
"We've got some young guys that really showed," Martin said. "Obviously,
Hollomon, and we had some young linemen in that second group that are going
to be pretty good for us. That was our whole agenda tonight was try to build
some depth with the second tier players and I think we got that done."
Redshirt freshman Danny Gress and junior cornerback Norman Wolfe posted a team high eight tackles and senior Brian Lainhart pitched
in with seven. Wolfe picked off a Keith pass and Dooley recorded a sack on
his forced fumble.
Cortez hit on 6-of-9 of his field goal attempts with a long of 41 yards.
"Freddy's a little bit inconsistent right now because he missed
all summer. He had his shoulder operated on and he couldn't kick for
a long time this summer," Martin said. "He's just now getting
back into shape. He's a competitor. I don't worry too much about
Stats from the game:
*-32-yard fumble return for touchdown
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