The Golden Flashes’ File: The Spectrum’s Scouting Report
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 20:10
Offensive player to watch:
Dri Archer, senior, running back/wide receiver
Archer is the most electrifying player in the Mid-American Conference. His speed and agility are infamous and he is often referred to as the type of player who should be playing in the Southeastern Conference.
Archer entered this season as a long-shot Heisman hopeful – after breaking Kent State’s single-season touchdown record with 23 in 2012 – but was injury-ridden in early action.
He didn’t see real action until Kent’s fifth game of the season. In his last four games, he has put up 209 rushing yards, 224 receiving yards and five touchdowns (four receiving).
But Archer isn’t an every-down-back; Trayion Durham has that role – he leads the team with 129 carries.
When Archer is in, he dominates. He has busted multiple 70-plus-yard plays this year. He’s had just 40 touches (26 rushes, 14 receptions), but he is averaging an astonishing 10.8 yards per touch.
Defensive players to watch:
Luke Wollett, senior, safety
Kent State’s run and pass defenses have been equally disappointing this season. Wollett is the unit’s captain and was named to Phil Steele’s preseason All-MAC second team.
He leads the team in tackles (62) and is tied for the lead in interceptions (two). Wollett has been an active member of Kent State’s defensive backs unit his whole career, making appearances since his freshman year, and he earned the starting safety job in his sophomore season.
Roosevelt Nix, senior, defensive lineman
Nix is by far the most decorated player on Kent State’s defense. He was named to Phil Steele’s preseason All-America fourth team and is currently second among active FBS players in career tackles for loss (59), fifth in forced fumbles (10) and 14th in sacks (21.5).
But Nix has struggled this year. Having played in seven of Kent’s eight games, he has notched only 23 tackles and a sack.
Buffalo’s defense vs. Dri Archer
We saw Buffalo struggle against faster players when it faced Ohio State and Baylor early in the season. If the Bulls let Archer get the ball in open space, it will be a long day for what has been an otherwise dominant Bulls’ defense. Archer poses the first true threat they have faced since Week Two, and it’s imperative that the defense continues to put the offense in good field position.
Buffalo’s strength is a stingy defense and a pounding run-game. If Archer gets loose for long gains and the game becomes an offensive shootout, the Bulls could be in trouble.
Despite Kent State’s mediocre 2-6 record, it’s the toughest team the Bulls have faced since Baylor. For the sixth straight game, Buffalo is facing a putrid defense. Kent is giving up 228.2 rushing yards per game and 239.8 passing yards per game, which should give senior running back Branden Oliver the opportunity to continue his recent slate of dominance.
The Bulls’ offense will have no problem moving the ball. With that said, their fate will lie with the defense’s performance. The formula for success is simple: Eliminate Archer’s big-play ability and you’ll contain an offense that is putting up only 19.1 points per game.
If the defense can’t accomplish this task, it may not be as good as we think it is.
Buffalo 20, Kent State 13