April 15, 2010

Defense catches up

KENT, Ohio--With most of its starting unit returning the Kent State offense got off to a quick start this spring.

Through the first five spring practice sessions the offense, led by returning starting quarterback Spencer Keith, took advantage of the Kent State defense. On Wednesday at Dix Stadium, the defense responded with its best practice of the spring.

"Our first defense played a little bit better today, with the exception of our two-minute drill, our offense went right down and scored on them pretty quickly there," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "They installed a couple more blitzes that were new today that the offense hasn't seen, so that helped them a little bit. It's been back and forth pretty good. It's been a competitive spring."

During team and 7-on-7 drills the defense came up with big play after big play, highlighted by interceptions by Zack Gonosz and Dorian Wood. Gonosz returned his pick for a touchdown.

Even the second unit had its moments. After backup quarterback Giorgio Morgan completed an eight-yard pass to redshirt freshman Ed Cazenave and senior Andre Flowers ran for nine yards to pick up a first down the defense responded with two sacks and a forced throw-away to shut down the offense's drive.

"On the defensive side (Brian Lainhart) is the typical Lainhart. He's always going to be around the ball making plays. I think Quinton Rainey is having a good spring and Dorian Wood, so we've got some guys that are stepping up," Martin said.

With starting defensive end Monte Simmons and starting linebacker Cobrani Mixon sitting out the spring while they recover from injuries Martin hoped to see some of the younger Flashes step up to fill their shoes.

"I'd like to see one of those other linebackers, Howard Bowens, Danny Gress, somebody like that to step up in that role. I haven't really seen that yet," Martin said. "Up front we've got a couple guys we'd like to see defensive line-wise step up in Monte's place. Lee Stalker is playing pretty well, doing some things. That's slowed our defense down not having those two guys."

Kent State returns to the practice field on Friday. All practices are closed to the public.

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