September 14, 2008

Despite win, Flashes not ready for MAC

After Saturday's game, quarterback Julian Edelman said he would rather win ugly than lose pretty.

You can't argue with that, but nothing about today's game suggested that this team will be in Detroit at the beginning of December.

Sure, Kent State defeated Delaware State 24-3 in the second "home" game of the season, but allow me to jump in the time machine and see if this team would win this game two weeks from now.

Turnovers--three of them. Dropped passes--coach Doug Martin counted five.

"One of them was a touchdown," he said after the win. "When you play against a team of equal talent in our conference, that is going to cost you the game."

Delaware State had the Flashes stopped on the first scoring drive, but a penalty kept the drive alive. The touchdown run was sweet--Kent State lined everyone up on one side and Edelman ran it in on the other.

The second touchdown happened on a fake field goal. Although Martin said the fake kept the pressure off the Flashes' special team, they won't be able to run that fake again.

And then when the Flashes attempted to score the conventional way they dropped the ball. In the third quarter, Edelman threw what was his best pass of the day right into the arms of a wide open Sam Kirkland who let the ball slide right through his hands.

The two interceptions are still a concern, although one was the equivalent of a punt. The Hornets would have had better field position if the Flashes punted.

But watching how turnovers killed this team last year--three or more against three Mid-American Conference opponents last season--this game did not suggest that this would change.

"We still got the turnover plague," Martin said. "Until we get that fixed we're not going to play up to our capability. We're a 30-point a game offense if we don't turn the ball over, and that's our Achilles heel and we need to fix that."

With quarterbacks like Nate Davis at Ball State and Drew Willy at Buffalo throwing for over 300 yards this weekend against the MAC and Delaware State throwing for 247 against the Flashes, I don't know if I should reserve a ticket to Detroit--because right now, this team is not ready for the MAC title.

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