CSR Non-Conference Preview: Kent State

Cyclone Sports Report continues its non-conference preview by talking with Kent State head coach Doug Martin.

Cyclone Sports Report: How much does the loss of veteran quarterback Julian Edelman affect this team going into the 2009 season?

Doug Martin: I would say that we are going to be a different offense in that we really need to be more balanced. We have to have an affective passing game because we definitely have enough talent running the ball. (New starting quarterback) Giorgio Morgan played in two games back in 2007 and did pretty well before we redshirted him last year. He has really shown a great ability to throw the ball.

CSR: Iowa State had a hard time stopping running back Eugene Jarvis during your matchup last season. Are you expecting a lot of eight in the box type defenses this season to try and stop him?

DM: Yeah I do and that became a problem last year at times due to our inability to throw the ball consistently. Eugene is a special talent who can do a lot of things for us and I really like our depth at running back as I think Jacquise Terry and Andre Flowers will also make an impact this year.

CSR: How important is it that you return four starters on the offensive line?

DM: We're really pleased with the depth that we have built right now at the offensive line position. It should a major strength for us.

CSR: You lost all of your main starters at wide receiver. Who do you expect to step up at that position?

DM: Our only guy with real experience at that position is Derek McBryde but we have really been impressed with a prep school kid by the name of Tyshon Goode. We feel he could have a solid impact this year.

CSR: What are the main strengths on defense heading into the season?

DM: I feel we have good team speed and that we run to the ball well. I also like our leadership and feel that linebacker Cabrani Mixon who really helped us last year after transferring from Michigan and safety Brian Lainhart will step up in that department.

CSR: What is the area that your defense needs to improve on the most heading into the season?

DM: We really need to stop the run better and play man coverage at a higher level. I feel like we have closed the gap somewhat but that we just haven't been consistent enough in those areas.

CSR: Last year's game with Iowa State really seemed to change in the Cyclones favor when your team started turning the ball over. Is that one of the biggest keys in a game like this?

DM: That really is the key factor in a game against a team like Iowa State. We just can't have a turnover margin like we had last year. Plus the kicking game has to be a lot better because last year we had to punts blocked against them which really changed the course of that game.

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