October 5, 2009

Keith gets the nod

The future is now, at least for the Kent State offense.

After leading the Golden Flashes to 250 yards in the second half of their 31-15 loss at Baylor last weekend, freshman Spencer Keith was named Kent State's starter for Saturday's Homecoming game against Bowling Green at Dix Stadium.

Keith takes over for redshirt sophomore Giorgio Morgan, who started the season for the Golden Flashes.

"I think last week we grew up a little bit as an offense, it was our best game yardage-wise. I think we kind of settled in on a quarterback, which has given us a little more consistency," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "We're going to play Spencer and just let him go unless there's some need to play Giorgio. It's really nothing against Giorgio. He's really played pretty good, he's just not making the plays consistently that Spencer is."

Morgan, who has completed 36-of-65 passes for 279 yards and four interceptions despite playing on a sprained ankle suffered in a week one win, yielded his position to the freshman at halftime of the Baylor game.

"I was talking to Giorgio by myself and he said, 'coach, Spencer's playing better right now, let him play,'" Martin said. "He's a real mature kid and he's a great team player. I don't think I've ever had a player be that mature about that type of decision because I was going to go ahead and go, let Giorgio start the second half there and bring Spencer in again."

Keith, who also started the game against Iowa State, has completed 53-of-88 passes for 587 yards and four touchdowns to three interceptions in four games this season.

Martin believes Keith's ability to scan the field for open receivers has helped the Golden Flashes to get on track offensively.

"Spencer has a really good vision of the field. He's really unlike any freshman quarterback that I've had," Martin said. "Usually they get locked in on one receiver that they like, so they always look for that guy. They feel comfortable with one guy so there always looking for him or on a particular play they like on particular receiver or route. He's really not like that. He understands the game. He'll move his eyes around; he makes some good throws."

With senior running back Eugene Jarvis sidelined for the rest of the year with a kidney injury, and now Morgan moving down on the depth chart, the Golden Flashes will be without both offensive captains on the field. That isn't a problem according to senior H-Back Jameson Konz.

"He's come a long way really fast," said Konz about Keith. "When he first showed up at camp, you could just tell when he was in the huddle there's a presence there. He's had to grow up really fast and I definitely think people respect him. He makes the throws, he makes good reads; if the coaches choose to play him at quarterback, we're going to be behind him 100-percent."

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