July 31, 2009

Flashes picked sixth in the MAC East

Voters in the Mid-American Conference Football Preseason Poll picked Kent State to finish sixth in the MAC East at the conference's Football Media Preview at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday.

The Flashes finished behind every team in the MAC East except Miami, and only ahead of the RedHawks and the West Division's Eastern Michigan in total points in the poll.

Senior running back Eugene Jarvis said he usually does not worry about preseason polls.

"Everybody can have a prediction, but like I said it's a prediction," Jarvis said. "I'm not worried where we're at. When it's all said and done, the game isn't won in the media room. You've got to go out there prepared."

Media members selected the Buffalo Bulls to win the MAC East and Central Michigan to win the MAC West and the conference championship game.

The Flashes finished the 2008 season 4-8, with a 3-5 record in the MAC, including a season-ending win over eventual MAC champion Buffalo. Kent State is losing its leader at quarterback in Julian Edelman, the MAC's second leading rusher in 2008, which may account somewhat for the team's low poll ranking.

This season, senior Anthony Magazu and sophomore Giorgio Morgan will battle to replace Edelman at the quarterback spot. Coach Doug Martin said the competition will be decided by the end of two-a-days.

"Well, we're going to let both those guys compete during two-a-days and see how they do" Martin said. "They both had really productive springs. We feel comfortable with both of them, but we will name a starter by the end of two-a-days."

Jarvis, who missed three games with an ankle injury in 2008 after rushing for the third most yards in Division I in 2007, said he feels people may be underestimating both him and his team.

"I've been written off," Jarvis said. "A lot of people forgot about me and things like that, but I just use that as motivation."

Junior safety Brian Lainhart said the team, especially the defensive unit, simply did not play up to its potential last season, which could explain the lowered expectations this season.

"We underachieved big time last season," Lainhart said. "We had a bunch of returning guys plus the addition of (junior linebacker) Cobrani Mixon. "We had a bunch of injuries, but we underachieved tremendously."

Jarvis said the Flashes have ratcheted up the intensity in preparation and are ready to break their streak of non-winning seasons, which now sits at seven.

"We're tired of being at the bottom of the poll and not living up to people's expectations," Jarvis said. "You can see the fire in people's eyes. Hopefully things will fall our way this year."

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