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2013 Kent State
Schedule and Odds
After finishing with 11 wins and going undefeated in MAC play last season, Kent State will have a much harder time reaching the double-digit mark this time around. They brought in Paul Haynes and it will be his first stint ever as a head coach. He's been floating around at bigger schools as a defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator. Throw that in with a tougher schedule, a weaker defense and a new QB and they don't look like the MAC East favorites anymore.
While former QB Spencer Keith wasn't all that great, he did have four years of experience at the position. David Fisher is the favorite to start at quarterback this year, but he's only attempted 23 passes in his career. Sophomore Colin Reardon looked the better of the two in spring practices (as Fisher dealt with a knee Injury), but nothing will be decided until fall. The main focal point of this offense is Dri Archer who returns for his senior season. Archer led the team all over the field last year and will likely do the same in 2013. He finished with 1,429 yards on the ground at 9.0 yards gained per tote, and he also led the team with 39 receptions for 561 yards. Throw in 20 touchdowns and you can see how good Archer can be. He's joined by another suitable RB in Trayion Durham who rushed for 1,316 yards and 14 TDs. Those two will need to carry the offense again. The Golden Flashes also have experience returning at wide receiver, but the problem for the offense will come on the line where only two starters return. The three incomers have minimal experience and are all underclassmen.
The defense will likely also be an issue for Kent State with only five returning starters. All-conference performers lead the unit in DT Roosevelt Nix and safety Luke Wollet, but it's the other positions that need work. Haynes is a defensive coach so that should help some, but three relatively new linebackers will be plugged into the lineup which will be a work in progress.
2013 Kent State Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. Liberty
Sept. 7 vs. Bowling Green
Sept. 14 at LSU
Sept. 21 at Penn State
Sept. 28 at Western Michigan
Oct. 5 vs. Northern Illinois
Oct. 12 at Ball State
Oct. 19 at South Alabama
Oct. 26 vs. Buffalo
Nov. 2 at Akron
Nov. 13 vs. Miami (OH)
Nov. 19 at Ohio
The Golden Flashes face an immediate task against Bowling Green early in the season. The Falcons have their sights set on the MAC East this year and will want that game. It's going to be very hard for Kent State to win that one so early with a young offensive line and defensive core. From there, it only gets worse.
Kent State has to go through a stretch of five road games in six weeks (their bye week comes in November and even then it's not a full week). Playing at LSU, Penn State and Ball State will test this team's patience. To make matters worse, their lone home game in that stretch is against Northern Illinois, the team they lost to in last year's title game. The Golden Flashes will need to finish the season strong in games against Buffalo and Ohio if they want to fight for the East.
This team is going to depend on its running game once again, but if the offensive line can't pull through, it may not work as well as last year. Combine that with a weaker defense and Kent State will be floating around the six or seven win range.
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