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Delaware State Hornets vs. Kent State Golden Flashes football preview

Coming off a tough loss to an Illinois team looking to surprise some people, the Golden Flashes come into this game looking to get back on track.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Kent State will play host to the Hornets from Delaware State this Saturday evening at 6 pm. This is the first matchup between these two teams, and the matchup comes at a crucial time for Coach Haynes and the rest of this staff.

The 2015 season did not get off to a good start this past weekend, as Kent State got dismantled on Saturday by an Illinois team lead by former MAC coach Bill Cubit. The game didn't take place at it's scheduled time, because of weather. Unlike several other games that were effected by the weather over the weekend, and unfortunately for the Golden Flashes, the game was played. Kent lost 52-3. The Golden Flashes came into this season with expectations of getting to a bowl game in year 3 of the Post-Hazell era. The road to the Flashes' third bowl game in program history begins now.

For DelState, they had struggles of there own this past weekend against Liberty, losing 32-13. The offense did not put up impressive numbers, as they totaled less than 270 total yards of offense. Leading the way for the Hornets was Esayah Obado, who threw for 227 yards while going 16/27. Obado also was able to rush for a touchdown, but because of the way rushing yards are put together, and how many times he was sacked.

Esayah Obado, who was previously mentioned as one of the key players for this Hornets team, has been dealing with an injury this week, and the status of him playing on Saturday is currently unknown. As for the rest of this team, they may have struggled offensively, but the defense was something positive to take moving forward. While they struggled to stop the run (229 yards on 40 carries) they were able to hold Liberty to just under 200 yards passing. This DelState team is still learning the way under first year Head Coach Kenny Carter, who has experience at the FBS level, with coaching stops at Louisville, Florida, and most recently Youngstown State. One may also remember his name, as he was a candidate for both the Eastern Michigan job, as well as the UMass job, before ending up at YSU.

For Kent State, improvement is imperative going forward, and it needs to start with this game. Colin Reardon needs to take a step forward as both a passer and decision maker. Understanding it was a B1G team the Flashes faced, Reardon had the worst performance of his career last Saturday. Going 15/34 for 156 yards and 3 interceptions is unacceptable, and if this team is going to take that step forward many expect them to take, Reardon needs to be much improved. He cannot make the same mistakes he made a week ago, and if he does he might end up on the bench.

The rushing attack last week was near-invisible, rushing 39 times for only 59 yards (1.5 YPC) both Holley and Durham will need to step up, and the consensus around campus is that they will.

The youth movement for the Flashes is in full force, as several freshman saw the field in last week's game. A look at the box score shows that P.J. Simmons had several touches, and seems to be an important part of the future of this offense. Recruiting is something that in the past has never been a strong point for the Flashes, but that is something that has Haynes gaining fans and momentum around campus.

As we look forward to this game, Kent State needs this win. Need it bad. With a matchup against a Minnesota team next week that put up a serious fight against TCU last thursday night, the last thing the Flashes want to happen is to start 0-3.  The offense needs to play better. The defense needs to play better. If DelState is still in this game at halftime, don't be surprised if this game comes down to the 4th quarter.

Prediction

Kent State gets back on track, winning 45-27, after a slow start which includes trailing going into halftime. Reardon has a much better game, and this Kent State defense forces 4 turnovers.