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Five Things Learned: Howard Bison at Kent State Golden Flashes

We’ll glean what we can.

Kent State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Making too much out of a game against an FCS opponent can be a serious mistake. However, with this particular non-conference slate for the Kent State Golden Flashes, it may be the best chance we get. In Sean Lewis’ debut, the Golden Flashes looked solid against Illinois, before petering out at the end. Up next is 11th ranked Penn State, and then the Golden Flashes finish on the road against Ole’ Miss.

Woody Barrett isn’t perfect, but can move the football

The Golden Flashes want an uptempo offense that focuses on running options and quick hitting pass plays. However, they also like to soften up the defense with deep throws. Woody Barrett has shown he can make the deep throws, while also making plays with his feet. Kent State can move the ball with Barrett behind center. He isn’t going to surgically slice teams with precision passes, and that’s ok. The Golden Flashes ran for over 300 yards. Barrett threw for over 150, and also had some nice runs out of pass plays which can keep a defense honest, something Kent has lacked recently.

Kent has a potential two-headed monster at running back

Justin Rankin ran 12 times for 147 yards, which is an average of 12.3 per carry. Jo-El Shaw wasn’t far off with 12 rushes for 105 yards. Each had a long run over 50 yards. In this type of offense, the more options a team has, the better it can do at keeping opposing defenses guessing.

Plenty of work to be done, but there is talent there

The Golden Flashes won 54-14, which is what a MAC school should do to an FCS team. Kent had 4 turnovers and 15 penalties for 150 yards. No one should do that. Imagine the score if Kent played a clean game, too?

Defense looked better stopping the run

Kent struggled to stop the run mightily last season and again against Illinois in the opener. They looked better against Howard, but that might very well just be the opponent. With Penn State up next, and Ole’ Miss after, we really might not know until the conference slate.

Regardless of opponent, Kent looks better than last season

I don’t think there is any question that Kent is a better football team than they were a season ago. The question is just how much better. Quite frankly, I am leaning toward vastly superior.