Q&A With an Opponents Blogger: Kent State

This week the Buckeyes will have a noon kickoff against the Kent State Flashes at the Shoe. This week I sit down with the beat writer for the Flashes Allen Moff to discuss the game. Moff who writes for the Record-Courier can also be found on twitter. We were hoping to have Allen on our podcast but unfortunately technical issues plagued us this week but we here at MotSaG are still very appreciative and thankful Allen was able to help us out this week.

MotSaG: Players to watch for Kent State?

Allen Moff: Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon, senior tight end Casey Pierce, senior wide receiver Chris Humphrey, junior nose tackle Nate Terhune, sophomore star (hybrid LB/S) Elcee Refuge, sophomore free safety Nate Holley, junior strong safety Jordan Italiano, junior punter Anthony Melchiori – he is one of the best in the nation.

MotSaG: What would be the keys for the Golden Flashes to pull off the win?

Allen Moff: The Flashes must force turnovers (minimum three in my mind) and score at least one defensive touchdown, and shorten the game – get into the fourth quarter trailing by two scores or less, then hope to catch some breaks.

MotSaG: How has the team pulled together after the sudden passing of center Jason Bitsko?

Allen Moff: The team was already a pretty tight group before Bitsko’s death, and it’s brought them even closer together. It’s been every bit as difficult to deal with as you would expect – Bitsko was a popular player, and very well respected – but overall they’ve handled the tragedy about as well as possible.

MotSaG: What are you looking for in this game from Kent State?

Allen Moff: Improvement across the board, but especially in the running game. The Flashes are a run-first team that’s averaging 1.9 yards per carry through two games this season. Even if the yards are accumulated when they’re down several scores against Ohio State, experiencing some success on the ground against the Buckeyes would provide a huge and much-needed confidence boost.

MotSaG: Are you worried that the Buckeyes will come out and play angry football after getting upset last Saturday?

Allen Moff: I would certainly expect them to, based on all they heat they’ve taken all week long. Kent State coach Paul Haynes says games like these are decided in the first four or five possessions, and the Buckeyes will without question be fired up and ready to put this game away quickly. The Flashes will have to dodge this rush and deliver a shot of their own early to have a chance to make a game of it.

MotSaG: With Noah Spence returning do you feel that OSU’s defensive line is going to make it an extremely long day for Kent’s offensive line?

Allen Moff: Of all the matchups on paper, this one’s probably the most one-sided. Kent State returns just two starters up front and starts three sophomores, one junior who is a first-year starter and one senior – right tackle Terrell Johnson – who has had some ankle trouble recently. Protecting Reardon is a major concern, especially with the return of Spence.

MotSaG: Virginia Tech showed the blueprint on how to slow down the Buckeye do you feel that Kent State will be able to duplicate that?

Allen Moff: I’m sure Kent State would love to, and I’m sure KSU will look to expose some of those weaknesses Virginia Tech brought into the open, but the Flashes simply don’t have the athletes to play like Virginia Tech.

MotSaG: Are you outraged when the national media says that teams like Ohio State shouldn’t schedule “cupcakes” like Kent State?

Allen Moff: That’s Ohio State’s issue, and personally I think it’s completely overblown. In modern day college football you’re basically considered a failure unless you’re playing for a national championship, so what motivation is there to schedule a bunch of non-conference powerhouses? Then you still have the Big Ten schedule to play – certainly the conference is not at its peak this year, but it’s still no picnic either. In-state programs like Kent State appreciate the opportunity to play in Columbus and they appreciate the money, which they desperately need to fund their respective athletic programs. And the Buckeyes are still willing to take the risk of national ridicule if they would happen to lose just once to a MAC school – they deserve some credit for that in my mind.

MotSaG: What are the goals for Kent State this season?

Allen Moff: Kent State’s only goal is to win the MAC. Funny as it sounds, they’re actually three points away from being on pace in that regard. The Flashes lost their opener to Ohio on a last-second field goal, and would be sitting at 1-0 if they could have pulled it out. Since then both Bowling Green and Toledo have lost their starting quarterbacks for the season, which leaves the MAC as a whole and the East Division in particular basically wide open.

MotSaG: What is your final prediction for the game?

Allen Moff: Ohio State, 45-14. If the Flashes can force a turnover or two early they can hang around for a while, but I don’t believe the Buckeyes will ever feel they’re in any real jeopardy on Saturday.

There are lot of things I am looking for from this game. First being no injuries for either team obviously but I’m looking for an angry hungry Buckeye team that we haven’t seen yet this season. Yes in the podcast I said that I felt the Buckeye are going to win 63-7. I’m going to stick to that because I feel that there is going to be a lot of turnovers that the Buckeyes defense is going to create and hopefully score a few. I feel we will have a Cardale Jones sighting along with a Bri’onte Dunn sighting. You are going to see a fired up team not just because of the loss last week but wanting a day or two off during the bye week (which they should get but need to get that offensive line right). Noah Spence coming back from suspension listed behind Steve Miller on the depth chart but we know that won’t last long and the defensive line of Bosa, Washington, Bennett, and Spence is finally here.

Thanks again to Allen for taking the time out of his busy schedule to help us out here this week at MotSaG and a special thanks goes to Aaron Chimenti the Assistant Director of Athletic Communications for his help getting me in touch with Allen and to my former classmate and current Kent State Career Counselor Ryan McNaughton for his help also.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: