Tough break, Golden Flashes. You just lost your quarterback for the season before it began. What a way to go out, too. In preseason practice, with an awful ankle injury. That just about punctures any chance you guys had competing in the MAC East -- and it was a decent chance, granted -- but without Spencer Keith, who was also injured year at the end of the season, I just don't think that they...
...wait, he was just making it look like he was hurt? His ankle wasn't twisted after all? What a great big phony!
(That man, by the way, truly represents every Kent State football fan.)
But in all fairness, it was head coach Doug Martin's idea. Just to see what his team would do. And to show to everybody else that other quarterbacks could step in if needed. And they did — they kept right on practicing, instead of bawling like schoolgirls, and played well.
Martin explains himself to the Ravenna Record-Courier:
"It was revealing, and it was also encouraging because our team responded pretty well and we continued to have a good practice.
[snip snip snip]
Before practice, I grabbed Spencer and told him I wanted to see how the team would handle it if they think you’ve gone down ... I coached him on when I wanted him to do it, and how I wanted it to look. Then we got with the trainers and got them involved in the plan. We didn’t even tell the coaches, so even a few of their mouths dropped when Spencer went down."
I don't know how often teams do this — my guess, rarely — but Martin's gotta try anything this year. A lot of media dudes like Phil Steele believe this is a crucial year for him if he wants to keep his job in Kent. And that makes sense. The university's been, if nothing else, patient. Six years and nary a winning season. So, hey, he's gotta play it loose for his own sanity. Let his starting QB play a game of pretend for one day. Show, don't tell your players that one guy can't (and won't) carry the team.
The schedule's first half is a merciless hose beast for them (five of the first seven games on the road, including three of the first four MAC games), but if they finish another 4-12, you know it's curtains for The Puppetmaster. Hey, maybe KSU athletic director Joel Nielsen can pretend to fire Martin if they fall to 1-3.