Inside the Film Room with Darrell Hazell

Allen Moff Published:

Here’s what Kent State football coach Darrell Hazell noticed after watching the tape of Saturday’s 48-32 victory at Miami, which gave the Golden Flashes (9-1, 6-0 MAC) a school record-tying nine wins this season and gave them a chance to clinch the MAC East Division championship with a victory Saturday at Bowling Green (7-3, 5-1):

WHAT STOOD OUT: “We really played hard as a team in all phases. We made enough plays in all phases early in the game to get out to a big lead, and created two turnovers on defense early that really jump-started the offense. We were able to sustain some drives and hit some big plays on them, a lot of big plays in the run game as well as the passing game. We continued to play really good special teams. The guy that really stood out on defense was (senior lineman) Jake Dooley. He had a career day with three sacks, two tackles for losses, and was in on some pass break-ups. The entire offensive line graded out as winning performance, which has never happened before. Those guys are playing extremely well, creating some huge creases for those two backs (sophomore Trayion Durham, junior Dri Archer). After a while it takes a toll on you trying to tackle 240 pounds (Durham), or 170 (Archer) that you can’t tackle, and it’s real hard to tackle those guys in such big gaps. We thought a big key defensively was getting off to a nice start. We did a nice job getting some pressure on (Miami QB Zac Dysert), and zone dropping into some of the passing lanes underneath confused him in the first part of the game. He hit one big pass early, hit a seam route on us, then really didn’t hit another one until later in the second quarter. Then he obviously got hot in the third quarter, but when you play a good quarterback you expect him to make some plays.”

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: “Obviously our pass defense, you can’t give up those big chunks of yards the way we did. We’ve gotta come out a little bit quicker in all phases in the third quarter. We were a little bit sluggish. I thought we had some pretty good plays called, and we didn’t execute them as well as we could have. We put the ball on the ground three times in the third quarter (KSU recovered each one), which we hadn’t done much all season. We had two mesh problems (mix-ups on handoffs), then poor communication between two players on a pooch kickoff. We’ve gotta clean that up.”

INJURY UPDATE: Senior Larry Dawson was helped off the field after suffering a head injury on the opening kickoff. “He should be OK for Saturday, but we’ll take it day to day. We have some sore ankles and sore thighs. We’ll find out the next couple of days how we heal, but right now we’re OK.”

THOUGHTS ON SATURDAY’S GAME AT BOWLING GREEN: “We’re gonna approach it just like any other game. It’s a conference game and it’s a big one, and our players know it, but our preparation doesn’t change. We’re not gonna go crazy and do anything nutty, we’re just going to study the film and try to get in the best situation we can to make plays.”

— Allen Moff/R-C

 

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