College Football Preview: The 2015 Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State Golden Flashes Preview
2014 Record: 2-9
Paul Haynes looks for an improved offense to get the Kent State Golden Flashes back on the MAC radar.
Overview: The Kent State Golden Flashes had trouble finding the end zone in 2014 at under 20 points and in the offensive minded MAC that wasn’t enough. However there is some talent back and we shall see if another year of experience results in more scoring.
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Offense: The Kent State Golden Flashes didn’t stand out in any one are offensively but another year under center for Colin Reardon should help. Reardon completed 57% of his throws for 2,466 yards for 14 TD’s and 16 picks so goal number one is to limit mistakes. It doesn’t help that his top two targets in Casey Pierce and Chris Humphrey are gone but the next five are so we might see the ball spread around more. RB Trayion Durham is back after injury robbed him of 2014 (766 yards in ’13) and he will combine with the speedy Nick Holley (125-516) to form an inside/outside threat. The offensive line returns eight of their top nine so this group has experience and depth.
Defense: The Golden Flashes defense showed improvement towards the end of the season and they get back virtually everybody. Of the nine players that saw action in at least nine contests, six are back although this group will have to get more pressure on the quarterback on passing downs and be more disruptive. The linebacking crew are the best unit on the defensive side of the football with the return from injury of Devante’ Strickland who was hurt in 2014. Matt Dellinger was the leader in tackles with 63 and with transfers and highly ranked newcomers joining the fold this unit is very good. The secondary is outstanding with the top five back with FS Nate Holley leading the team with 106 stops with SS Jordan Italiano second with 72 tackles and a team high three picks.
Special Teams: Anthony Melchiori is an outstanding punter at over 44 yards on 67 kicks but he struggled to10-18 on field goals which was tough to swallow for a team that needed points. Ernest Calhoun averaged nearly 21 yards on 34 kick returns with James Brooks netting six yards on 12 punts.
Outlook: Kent State has the potential to improve offensively if the receiving corps steps up and if the defense stays healthy the Golden Flashes will win a few more games but I don’t know if I’d count on much more then a team fighting to reach .500 because a tough schedule.