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Kent State-WMU Preview: A Q&A with Kent Wired

Since Hustle Belt doesn't have a Kent State writer, we outsourced our questions this week. What did the outside writer have to say?

Dri Archer. . . that is all
Dri Archer. . . that is all

We here at Hustle Belt love to give you awesome MAC coverage. Unfortunately, we can't cover all our bases. Never fear though, Timothy Dorst from Kent Wired is here! We asked him some questions about the Kent State-WMU game, and this is what he had to say.......

1. Kent State is off to a hot start at 5-1 and is close to being bowl eligible and going to a bowl for the first time in years. Outside of Dri Archer, what has been the main key to success for the Flashes?

Tim: I think the main factor is just how the team has bought into the system that Coach Darrell Hazell has put in place. Hazell took over last season and it was a rough start. They started 1-6, but toward the end things came together and we won four of your last five games. This season, that trend has just continued. I think this is a more unified team under Hazell, and this is obviously the best Kent State team that I've seen in my lifetime.

2. That Dri Archer kid. I only have one word for him: Damn. What makes him so electric? Is he a Heisman sleeper?

Tim: He just has blinding speed. Whenever he finds a seem, he hits it and he's gone! Whether it's running the ball, catching it, or returning kicks, he's a threat to score every time he touches the ball. I think calling him a Heisman sleeper might be a little much, but he is without a doubt one of the most explosive and versatile players in college football right now.

3. Last year the defense, led by Roosevelt Nix, was good for the Flashes while the offense was anemic. This year, it seems to be slightly reverse. What happened to the tough defense?

Tim: The Flashes have struggled with defending the pass this year. It's been inconsistent; one game they'll contain it, the next they give up 300-400+ yards. They've also had injuries in the secondary with Norman Wolfe breaking his arm and now Calvin Tiggle will be out with a knee injury. Our defensive line is still playing solidly, but there are other aspects of the defense that still need improving. I expect it will before the end of the season.

4. Who else beside Roosevelt Nix and Dri Archer should we watch out for on both sides of the ball?

Tim: On offensive, I would say running back Trayion Durham. He is the perfect compliment to the speedy Archer because he's brings the element of power into the offensive attack. He's 6'0" and around 250, so he just barrels his way forward and usually shakes off 2-3 tackles before he's brought down. Defensively, I would say another guy to watch is linebacker Luke Batton. He racked up 16 tackles against Army last week, and he's one of the big captain of this defense. He usually finds a way to make an impact on the game in some way.

5. Assuming Kent State wins this game, the rest of the schedule for you guys features road-trips to undefeated Rutgers and a good Bowling Green team, and a home game against currently unbeaten Ohio. Do you think you can get to 10 wins and/or win the MAC East?

Tim: This last part of the schedule will definitely give the Flashes a challenge. I see Kent State losing at least one more game, probably the Rutgers game, but I think 10 wins is certainly possible. The way this team is playing right now, they believe they can win every game. And it's important to keep that sort of mindset. I think if the Flashes can win out in their MAC schedule, the game against Ohio will determine who goes to the MAC Championship game.

6. Give me your prediction for the game. Kent State opened as a 3.5 pt favorite and are now sitting at an even 4 points.
Tim: It will be close, but I think with it being homecoming and Kent State likely to have its biggest crowd in years, I say that'll give the Flashes a slight edge. I'm going to say 30-24 Kent State pulls out the win.