Weight issue delays Kent State's team plane to Mobile

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

MOBILE, Ala. -- After waiting 40 years between bowl bids, then waiting 32 days since their last game to depart for the GoDaddy.com Bowl, you can probably guess what Kent State's football team was forced to do Wednesday morning.

Wait some more, of course.

The team plane's scheduled takeoff from Akron-Canton Airport was delayed for about 90 minutes after it was determined that the plane was carrying too much weight.

"We had a little poundage issue," said a smiling Golden Flashes head coach Darrell Hazell, following a Team Arrival Press Conference featuring both KSU and Arkansas State Wednesday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. "We got on the plane, and we were getting ready to take off and we found out we had too much weight on the plane."

How was that fact determined just before takeoff?

"There's so much baggage you take, then they estimate an average weight of the players, and then they determine if they can get the plane off the ground," said Hazell. "I thought the pilots were excellent, the way they handled it. It wasn't their issue. Someone didn't estimate the proper way.

"We sat on the runway for about an hour and a half -- longer than we wanted to, but we got through it. Just a little hiccup. Nothing major."

So how did they rectify the weight problem?

"They actually left the bags home," said Hazell. "So our bags will get here hopefully tonight, but worst-case scenerio tomorrow at 10."

After the plane finally reached Mobile early Wednesday afternoon, the Flashes ran through a light 45-minute practice on the University of South Alabama practice field.

"We tried to get rid of the plane legs," said Hazell. "It was good to see them throw it around a little bit. It was nice (weather), about 50 degrees out there. They're in their element when they're running and throwing the football around. They've very excited to be here. They haven't played a game in a month. Our guys, they can't wait for Sunday."

The waiting game will finally end when Kent State (11-2) take on Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State (9-3) in Sunday night's GoDaddy.com Bowl, attempting to secure the first bowl win in program history.

"If you've gotta wait 40 years to go to a bowl game, this is one of the ones you want to get to," said Hazell. "The people here are excellent, this bowl is an excellent bowl. They do it the right way.

"We're gonna have some fun while we're here, but the whole purpose of coming here is to play a football game. As long as we understand that, we'll be in good shape."

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Email: amoff@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9445

Twitter: @MoffRC

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