September 29, 2009

No controversy under center

Statistics don't always tell the story-as the Kent State football team found out last weekend when they defeated Miami, 29-19. The Golden Flashes came out on the short end on offense, being outgained, 552-250, but came out on where it mattered, the scoreboard.

There's a similar situation at quarterback where true freshman Spencer Keith owns a 149.40 efficiency rating compared to starting quarterback Giorgio Morgan's 82.92. Keith has completed 65.3-percent of his passes compared to Morgan's 55.9-percent, and the freshman has thrown four touchdown passes to two interceptions while Morgan has three picks and no touchdowns.

But, that hasn't changed the depth chart.

"Giorgio is our starting quarterback and there's no controversy there or anything," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "It's a real positive now because at points in the game if Giorgio is struggling or not seeing things well, which is what happened the other night, you can put Spencer in and you have total confidence that he's going to at least execute the offense."

Martin's confidence in Morgan isn't unwarranted. The redshirt sophomore was elected by his teammates as one of four team captains, and when healthy Morgan has shown that he can make plays with his arm and his legs.

Morgan's problem has been overcoming a sprained ankle suffered in a week one win over Coastal Carolina. The injury forced him out of the week two game at Boston College and he was held out of the loss to Iowa State in week three; that missed time has slowed his development.

Morgan returned to start against Miami last weekend, when he completed 3-of-8 passes for 22 yards and rushed for 20 yards on six carries.

"He ran really well the other night off the read play and the zone dive and those types of things," Martin said.

Where Morgan has struggled has been making the appropriate reads.

In the second half of the Miami game, Morgan missed a couple of crucial reads that forced Martin to make a change at quarterback.

"I just took him out because the first two series of the half we had chances to put that game away and we had about three plays called that should have been touchdowns and he just busted the reads, didn't get the ball where it was supposed to be," Martin said. "That was all on him. They brought eight people, and you cant' block eight. He's got to get rid of the ball and didn't do it. The receiver was looking hot and was open and Giorgio just didn't get it thrown."

Keith responded by throwing a 56-yard touchdown pass to fifth-year senior H-Back Jameson Konz.

"Miami busted a coverage and Spencer saw it and that's a little bit lucky on our part, but he saw it and made the play," Martin said. "That's what I'm after out of (using both quarterbacks)."

Martin believes using both quarterbacks serves to speed up the development of both quarterbacks and helps the team improve.

"This will make (Morgan) better though, the fact that Spencer comes in and plays well and there's competition there," Martin said. "It makes both of them be really sharp and will make our team better too."

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