It was a season of firsts for Kent State in 2012. One that saw the Golden Flashes win 11-games for the first time in school history and capture their first-ever Mid-American Conference East Division title. An undefeated conference season helped the program earn its first-ever ranking in the Bowl Championship Series. Kent State went on to play in its first bowl game since 1972 when it took on Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Repeating that kind of success will be difficult, which is why Kent State is a team that will struggle in 2013.
The Buzz: After two seasons, Darrell Hazell left the program to take the head coaching job at Purdue. The school hired former alum Paul Haynes as his replacement in the offseason. Haynes will take over a team that returns 12 starters including one of the best rushing duos in college football last season: Dri Archer and Traylon Durham. The pair combined for more than 3,000 yards and 30 total touchdowns last season. One of the biggest questions heading into the season is who will replace Spencer Keith at quarterback? Senior David Fisher saw limited action in 2012 (14-of-23 for 230 yards and a touchdown) and could battle sophomore Colin Reardon for the spot in fall camp. The offensive line only returns two starters – center Phil Huff and LG Pat McShane – leaving serious question marks for a group that only allowed 21 sacks in 2012. The Golden Flashes were second in the Mid-American Conference in rushing offense thanks to that group. The defense only returns five starters including tackle Roosevelt Nix, who will anchor the defensive front line for Kent State. There isn’t a single starting linebacker back from last season leaving the middle of the defense up for grabs. While don’t expect a total collapse from last season, Kent State will struggle to repeat its success from 2012.
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