- How is the Kent State football program different now that Paul Haynes has replaced Darrell Hazell as head coach?
The KSU football program is a little different under Paul Haynes than it was the last two years under Darrell Hazell for a couple reasons. For starters, Haynes’ background is defense, so he seems to be giving third-year offensive coordinator Brian Rock more freedom to run the offense, where as Hazell was an offensive guy, and had a hand in many of the offensive decisions related to the team. Also, Hazell was more of a quiet observer during most practices, while Haynes is a little more hands on. Lastly, there’s no denying Hazell had a charismatic personality that helped considerably off the field –- with the media, community, donors, etc. -- when it came to “selling” the potential of the team and program as a whole. Haynes has a great personality and is very approachable, but he’s still looking to find that voice that just makes others listen and want to be a part of something bigger.
- The big question this week surrounds Dri Archer and his availability for the game. Do you think he will play, and how much do you think his status will affect Kent State's offense?
- How is the offense for Kent State different now that Colin Reardon is the quarterback?
- While the defense lost a lot of players, one returnee is Roosevelt Nix. How did he look in the opener against Liberty, and what will be his role in the Golden Flashes' defense in 2013?
Kent State is looking for senior defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix to return to the form that allowed him to burst on the scene as a freshman three seasons ago when he claimed the Mid-American Conference’s Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year awards. After struggling with various injuries that have limited his effectiveness the past two seasons, Nix entered the 2013 campaign as healthy as he’s ever been and looking to be the main cog in the Flashes attacking defense. Voted a team captain, the undersized but quick Nix was all over the field in the opener, helping KSU’s defense hold Liberty’s offense without a first down until six minutes remained in the second quarter.
- Anthony Melchiori can be a weapon as a punter, but he also has taken on the kicking duties this season. How is he doing as the kicker, and has this affected his punting?
- What is it the Golden Flashes' biggest concern coming into this game?
The Flashes biggest concern heading into Saturday’s conference opener seems to be the Falcons stingy defense, especially given how dominating it was in BG’s season-opening 34-7 victory over reigning Conference USA champion Tulsa. The fact that the Falcons D limited Tulsa to just 51 rushing yards coupled with the uncertainty of Archer’s availability for Kent State Saturday, might make the Flashes uneasy about their ground game success, even though they still have the bulldozing Trayion Durham at fullback. Add to the mix that BG’s defense also forced and recovered two fumbles and had five tackles for loss last week, and honestly, all MAC opponents ought to be weary of a strong Falcons defense that returned nine starters from last year’s squad that posted a 6-2 league mark.