September 7, 2010

Game Balls




Untitled Document






Kent State's 41-10 season opening victory over Murray State on Thursday
featured many big plays and prime time performances.


Here's a look at the game ball winners on offense, defense and special
teams.
























OFFENSE
SPENCER KEITH

Keith
completed 24-of-35 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, his first
three-touchdown performance of his short career. While he was sacked
three times and threw an interception that nearly went back for a score,
Keith managed the game well and showed poise under pressure.


Several of Keith's passes were nearly picked off, mostly in
the perimeter passing game. But, he's smart enough to see those
mistakes on film and correct them by the time the Flashes hit the turf
at Boston College on Saturday.


Where Keith shined was in seeing the entire field. By halftime he
already had completed at least two passes to four different receivers
and finished the game with completions to seven different players.


Keith was named the Mid-American Conference's East Division Offensive
Player of the Week.


SAM KIRKLAND

No
Kent State player had a better game than Kirkland, who caught nine passes
for 126 yards and one touchdown.


Since
arriving at Kent State Kirkland has always had potential. On Thursday
he finally delivered, in a big way.


Prior to his nine-catch performance, the Kent State coaching staff
hoped Kirkland would develop into a complementary receiver to sophomore
Tyshon Goode. Now, it looks as if Kirkland could become the
Golden Flashes top playmaker at wide receiver.


At 6-foot-1, 188-pounds, Kirkland has desirable size for the position.
But, it's his speed and strength that makes him so dangerous. He's
powerful enough to break away from would-be tacklers and fast enough
to never give the defense a shot at bringing him down.


JACQUISE TERRY

Terry's
versatility continues to show up on game day. Last year he moved back
to running back from wide receiver to replace starter Eugene Jarvis
and rushed for 649 yards and four touchdowns.


With a healthy Jarvis back in the lineup, the Golden Flashes had to
find ways to get the ball into Terry's hands. He carried 11 times for
30 yards and caught four passes for 73 yards and two scores.


His two touchdown catches both were highlight reel worthy efforts.


Terry's speed and ability to make the tough catches makes him a dangerous--yet
reliable--offensive weapon.


DEFENSE
BRIAN LAINHART

Not
only did Lainhart lead the team with nine tackles but he also had a team-high
19.0-yard rushing average.


Lainhart led the team with five solo tackles and five assists. He
was in on one tackle behind the line of scrimmage and also forced a
fumble. The defense, behind Lainhart's leadership, held Murray State
to -65 rushing yards.


Had Lainhart not performed so well on the defensive side of the ball
he'd have received a game ball for his work on special teams. His 19-yard
run on a fake punt led to a 37-yard Freddy Cortez field goal
and a 34-10 Kent State lead.


MONTE SIMMONS

Prior
to leaving the game with an ankle injury Simmons had made his living
in the Murray State backfield.


Simmons recorded five tackles but upped his career sacks total to
18 with two sacks against Murray State. He also assisted on another
tackle for loss.


Simmons also shared with his teammates a high energy level that undoubtedly
contributed to the Flashes' success stopping the Racers rushing attack.


DORIAN WOOD

Wood
led the team with 2 1/2 tackles for loss and was tied for second with
eight tackles. Like Simmons, Wood spent a lot of time at or behind the
line of scrimmage, which disrupted the Racers rushing attack


.The Flashes aren't real deep at linebacker. A strong performance
by Wood and the other starters--Cobrani Mixon (8 tackles)
and Luke Batton (3 tackles)--was needed for Kent State to
be successful.


SPECIAL TEAMS
ANTHONY BOWMAN

Bowman's
92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter was
just what Kent State needed to put away the Racers.


Terry's 49-yard touchdown reception with 1:13 left in the first half
pushed Kent State's lead to 24-10 at halftime. Bowman's return made
it 31-10 and left little chance for Murray State to mount a comeback.
In fact, the Racers would go scoreless in the second half.


Bowman finished the night with 109 all-purpose yards. His return provided
most of that yardage but he added one catch for 17 yards.


FREDDY CORTEZ

It's
been a long time since Kent State was perfect in the kicking game.


Cortez drilled all five of his extra point tries and was 2-for-2 in
field goal attempts. He hit on tries from 29 and 37 yards.


Equally important was his work on kickoffs where he averaged 63.2
yards per kick.


MATT RINEHART

Already
an all-conference performer, Rinehart continues to improve.


On Thursday he punted five times for 231 yards with an average punt
traveling 46.2 yards. His long boot was 59 yards and four of his five
punts landed inside the Racers 20-yard line.


Following Kent State punts Murray State started its drives on its
own 2, 31, 13, 11 and 15-yard line.





















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