April 28, 2010

Flashes set for spring game

KENT, Ohio--Immediately following the final session of Wednesday morning's practice at Dix Stadium Kent State head coach Doug Martin gathered his team at midfield. There he went over the rules for Friday night's spring game and divided his team into two squads-the blue and the white.

Martin spent several minutes explaining just what he expects out of his squad on Friday. He covered everything from which sideline each of the teams should stand on during the scrimmage and responsibilities during punts and other special teams plays, none of which will be live.

It almost seemed as if Martin was addressing a high school freshman team rather than a Division I college program. But, for a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2001, nothing can be taken for granted.

Martin's plan for Friday's spring-ending scrimmage is simple: stay healthy.

"It's been a good spring," he said. "We stayed healthy, that's the best part of it."

But, for many of the Golden Flashes Friday night's spring game is an opportunity to build some momentum heading into fall camp.

"I want to see our backup guys compete," Martin said. "Those guys are still competing for a position and for a chance to play when they come back in the fall. It's really the second guys I'm looking at seeing."

The scrimmage, which will consist of four 12-minute quarters, will begin with the Golden Flashes' starting units going head-to-head. But, many of those first-team players will see limited action.

"A lot of our starters we'll hold, (Brian Lainhart), (Eugene Jarvis), some of those guys won't play much. Spencer Keith won't play much. We need to look at the younger guys and get them kind of in a game setting to see how they respond, to see how they play."

Keith, who earned the starting quarterback job as a freshman last fall, will be the only quarterback donning a red jersey, which signals to the defense that he is off limits. The other quarterbacks, junior Giorgio Morgan and freshman Cedric McCloud will be live as they compete to backup Keith.

"The backup quarterback is still in the air a little bit," Martin said. "Cedric McCloud and Giorgio are the two competing for that right now. I'd say it's pretty close. Cedric might be a little bit ahead."

Overall, Martin has been pleased with his team's performance thus far and he wants to see his players end the spring on a positive note.

"I like the consistency that our offense has had. We've really been productive each day. Our wide receivers have stepped up, playing probably better than we ever have," he said. "Defensively, I think again we've got really good team speed and we're causing a lot of turnovers. That part of it has been productive."

The spring game will be held on Friday, April 30 at Dix Stadium. "Kickoff" is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. but several former KSU players now in the NFL will be available to meet with fans beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission to the game is free.

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