Kent State’s running back and junior Dri Archer, the school’s single-season record-holder for touchdowns in a season (22), put up a stellar performance in the Golden Flashes’ bowl game against Arkansas State. His luck soon changed, however, when he was sidelined due a knee injury sustained in the second quarter.
With Archer injured and out for the majority of the second half, senior quarterback Spencer Keith was forced to try to make something happen at the end of the game. With 52 seconds remaining, Keith, who was already battling an injury of his own, only picked up five yards during a desperate scramble to get a first down. Keith was three yards short of the first down and just 20 yards shy of the end zone. Thus, to the dismay of hopeful Kent State fans, the game ended in a 17-13 Arkansas State victory.
Kent State nearly won the game in their first bowl appearance in 40 years. If it weren’t for the injuries of Archer and Keith, I think the Golden Flashes would have sealed up the victory.
Let me put the game and the injuries into perspective. Archer rushed for 77 yards, with most of these yards produced in the first and second quarters before he sustained his knee injury. If you watched the game, it was clear that Arkansas State could not find an answer for him. Until his second-quarter injury, Archer looked unstoppable. If the Flashes had a healthy Archer in the second half, there would have been a lot less pressure on Keith and the receivers to produce an all-out aerial assault that they just did not have.
Keith’s more minor injury may not have been as impactful as Archer’s knee injury, but the injury may have arguably cost the Flashes the game with only 52 seconds left. Keith was taken out of the game three plays earlier when he was hit in the ribs by Arkansas defensive back Tausean Holmes.
With Keith playing a little banged up and Archer watching the game anxiously from the sideline, the Golden Flashes could not manage to get the first down they needed to swing the momentum back into their favor. As much as Archer wanted to continue playing, he said in post-game interviews that he knew he was hurting his team by hopping around on the field.
Injuries are always a part of the game of football, but it’s always a shame when they occur. I would have loved to see what Keith, Archer and the rest of the offensive squad could have done to Arkansas State in the second half. Who knows? If Archer decides not to enter the NFL draft this year, we could see him give Kent State a second chance in another bowl game. I know we would all love to have No. 1 lead our Golden Flashes up and down the field one more time.blog comments powered by Disqus