football Edit

Kent State coach lays it on ahead of UGA game

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s the greatest collection of talent that’s ever been assembled on a football team because of the work Coach (Kirby) Smart, his staff and the tireless relentless effort that they’ve put in to building a program to an elite, elite level."
— Kent State head coach Sean Lewis

Kent State head coach Sean Lewis is very familiar with Stetson Bennett.

Lewis offered a scholarship to Bennett while Georgia’s current quarterback was playing for Jones Community College in Mississippi.

“They obviously saw something in Stetson Bennett. We did, too,” Lewis said during a Zoom session with reporters. “We offered Stetson a scholarship when he was at that junior college before he opted to go back to Georgia, so we know how talented he is. He’s the maestro that makes it go. They’ve got great confidence in him; he’s spinning it around the yard.”

Lewis and the Golden Flashes (1-2) will have a close-up view of what they missed out when Kent State and Georgia kickoff Saturday at Sanford Stadium (Noon, ESPN+/SECNetwork+).

However, Lewis has a lot more than Bennett on his mind.

When asked to sum up the challenge his squad faces Saturday, Lewis did not hold back.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s the greatest collection of talent that’s ever been assembled on a football team, because of the work of Coach (Kirby) Smart, his staff, and the tireless, relentless effort that they’ve put into building a program to an elite, elite level,” Lewis said. “It’s a tremendous test, a tremendous opportunity; they’re uber-talented.”

Lewis didn’t stop there.

When the subject turned to Bulldog tight end Brock Bowers, Lewis dipped into his pouch of rat poison one more time.

“Their tight end, No. 19, he’s a super-freak. He was an All-American, and he’s not the only one. It’s a galaxy collection of stars and talent all over the place. There are future first-round draft picks everywhere,” Lewis said. “They lost what, 15 last year, and they just re-upped. The standard that they have because of Coach Smart, the way they’ve developed their talent. Super disciplined. They’re long, they’re fast, they’re physical, and I can’t wait to go compete in that arena with them.”

This will not be the first FBS power the Golden Flashes have faced this year.

Kent State’s early-season schedule may well have been the most ambitious in the country. Lewis’ team opened at Washington, losing to the Huskies 45-20 before falling the following week to Oklahoma, 33-3. In the game with the Sooners, Oklahoma only led 7-3 at the half before pulling away. Kent State also tied the Sooners with 20 first downs and outrushed Oklahoma 164-134.

“The Power 5 teams we’ve played haven’t lost a game, and are playing some really high-level ball. Again, good for them, they’re two well-coached teams. We stood in the arena with them, and we know how talented they are,” Lewis said. “It gives me great strength to know we’re well-coached and also very talented. When we do right and string together plays, series, quarters, and halves, and when we can put together a complete game, I think if we stay humble and stay hungry, we put ourselves in a position to have a little bit of success if we can just focus on each moment to moment and not get our nose too far over our skis with anything.”

Kent State coach Sean Lewis had PLENTY of good things to say about Georgia.
Kent State coach Sean Lewis had PLENTY of good things to say about Georgia. (USA Today)