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Dri Archer's Return Was The Spark Kent State Needed

In Kent St.'s win over Western Michigan, Dri Archer showed why many considered him the best player in the MAC heading into this season.

Before the season began, Dri Archer seemed poised for a huge season. Coming off a season as a consensus All-American, Archer had established himself as one of the more versatile and exciting players in all of college football, not just the Mid-American Conference. With national media buzz (thanks to The Archer Heisman campaign) surrounding his senior season, many were saying he could have his name called in the NFL Draft, as high as in the Top 50.

But then in Week 1 Archer suffered a sprained ankle early in the Golden Flashes game against Liberty. Without Archer, Kent St. struggled to win that game, and with him sidelined for all of Week 2, the Flashes looked lost on offense. He returned in Week 3 against LSU, but lasted just seven snaps before missing all of Week 4. Without Archer, Kent St. couldn't move the ball effectively and dropped three straight. People were starting to forget about Archer, and many wondered how good he would actually be when he did return to action.

Saturday evening Archer got the start against Western Michigan. He wasn't quite 100-percent, but from the beginning was a factor on the field. He finished the game with 121 yards on 10 touches (4 catches for 48, 6 caries for 73) and manged to find the endzone on an electrifying 31-yard reception that showed off the skill set that earned him all the accolades a season ago. Even more valuable than his production was the diversion he created just by being on the field. As WMU attempted to shut Archer down, it opened up options for redshirt freshman quarterback Colin Reardon. More importantly, his presence opened up the running game for Trayion Durham, who finished with two touchdowns and 154 yards on 26 carries after struggling to produce in the first four weeks.

Without Archer on the field Kent St. seemed destined for a bottom-feeder season, struggling to stay out of the MAC cellar. With Archer back though the Golden Flashes have their mojo back