KENT, Ohio — At 9-1, losing only to the Kentucky Wildcats, the Kent State Golden Flashes football team is ranked among the top college teams in the country.
Kent rounds out the current AP poll in 25th place. With two more games in the regular season a MAC title and a possible bowl game are within reach for the first time in 40 years.
“We talked a little about it as a team last night and it’s very nice, it’s very honoring that people in the country think that much of the program but again our focus is some of the goals that we set forth at the beginning of the season,” said Head Football Coach Darrell Hazell on Monday.
Junior Running Back Dri Archer says while the ranking is exciting, the team is not celebrating anything just yet.
“It’s always good to be ranked, you know especially a MAC team like us most people don’t show us the recognition that we deserve,” said Archer.
“We just felt like this last year, our last year as seniors, we had to come out and prove something as a football team that has been down the last, however many years it has been, and we came out focused and just taking it one game at a time,” said Quarterback Spencer Keith.
The football team’s success follows a Kent State baseball team appearance in the college world series and the school’s golf team finishing its season ranked fifth in the country.
Coach Hazell says he doesn’t worry about their remaining opponents being more motivated to beat them because of their ranking.
“Every week you have got to prepare and it doesn’t matter. Everybody is trying to beat everybody and we told our team last night that we’ll worry about the rankings at the end of the season,” said Hazell.
“It’s good to be nationally ranked but we can’t really let that affect us, we always talk about, coaches talk about keep on preparing how we’ve been preparing, nothing different nothing more nothing less. Just keep on doing what we have been doing and we’ll get the job done,” said Junior Safety Fabrice Pratt.
Kent State will play Bowling Green this weekend, then have only the Ohio University Bobcats on their schedule before they can play for a MAC East Championship and then possibly advance to their first bowl game since 1972.