Kent State has long been considered a cesspool of terrible football. Imagine a toilet after a late night taco bell run and you get the idea. That was until Andrew Profio became the head coach of the Golden Flashes. In years 1 and 2, it was business as usual for Kent going a combined 9-16, but the coach starting getting his players in to fit his system and went a combined 14-12 during years 3 and 4. Kent has now gone to three consecutive bowls, albeit they lost each time, and a year ago were one win away from making their first ever MAC Championship appearance. Profio must replace some key starters but a new face at running back may have the Flashes making the next leap. Offensively things will be changing for the Flashes as quarterback Cedric McCloud, running backs Trayion Durham and Robert Holloman, and wide receivers Jeremy McCoy and Lorenzo Means are all gone. But the offensive unit as a whole is rated higher than they were a year ago. The Flashes will be changing their offensive style to a more option based attack. "We are going to take advantage of our ability to run the ball. " Profio added. Replacing McCloud at quarterback will be Senior Jordan Tarver; he should be no stranger to Kent State fans as he played in some games a year ago. "Jordan is a speed demon who can also throw. I mean look at the kid, he has 93 rated speed." Profio said about his QB. Backing up Tarver will be fellow senior and Kent native Evan Shimensky. "Evan is a warrior and a terrific athlete, I had the oppourtunity to coach him on a high school basketball team." Profio added. Lining up behind Tarver will be an absolute terror of a running back. After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, Senior Akise Teague is ready to show why he is one of the best backs in football being rated a 90 overall. At 5'8" and 187 lbs, his stature may not be imposing but his speed is. "Akise has speed rated at 94, his agility is a 92, acceleration a 99. He also is rated at 88 in breaking tackles and a 91 in elusiveness. Good luck trying to stop him." Profio said. "We have had to use a two back set in the past, no longer." Wide receiver will be the question mark of the offense, which is a first in a long time. Senior Josh Boyle (71 ovr.) will try to fill McCoy's shoes as the number one wideout. He also posses some good speed which makes a viable threat down field. Chad Fitzpatrick and Justin Harrell will be the #2 and #3 targets respectively, both of them are more of a possession style of wideout. 4 year starter, Chris Hughes will be the primary tight end, and true Freshman Antonio Collier will see some time as well. At 6'6" and 226 lbs he could pose matchup problems in the redzone. Up front the Kent offensive line is better than ever. With their LG, C, and RG all rated in the 70s, and their two tackles just below that, the Flashes will look to control the line of scrimmage. The Flashes are going to have to score points if they want to obtain their goals, because their defense is inexperienced. "We have faith that these kids will live up to their potential, but its going to be a little bit before they get there." Profio said. A staple of every Profio team is a good defensive line who can supply pressure on the opposing QB which allows their linebackers to drop back into coverage. Returning are both of their defensive ends Matt Hurd and Ryan Brown. "Both of these guys have a high motor, they won't stop until the whistle is blown. They have one task, get to the QB. They do it very well." Profio said. The defensive tackles are a huge question mark. Gone are All Americans Jerome Davis and Josh Watson. Davis is Kent's all time leader in sacking the quarterback. Profio counts on Oliver Jefferson and true freshman Riley Hills to fill the void. "We are going to miss those two guys, but I have a lot of faith in Jefferson and Hills." Profio added. Steve Meher was an absolute beast of a OLB, but he is playing on Sundays now. Sophomore Matt Hawkins will step into the shoes of the departed Meher, but he has some promise on special teams are year ago. The other OLB will be impact player Senior Andre Parker, and manning the middle will be Sophomore Jeff Robertson. The secondary will be young as well. Sophomore Walter Parrish and true Freshman Stanford Holt will start at the cornerback spots. Sophmore Lance Jones will start at free safety. Senior All American Champ Johnson returns at strong safety and will serve in a leadership role for the rest of his young secondary. "Champ knows that it is his group. He is responsible for bringing those kids along and we know he will." Profio said. Kicking and punting duties will be done by Junior Grant Cooper. A 91 rated player at both spots, he will make sure the offense finishes drives with points and the team wins the field position battle. SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN: Kent starts things off with #17 Arizona State coming into Dix Stadium. They will then host the East Carolina Pirates before travelling to Champaign for a battle with Illinois. San Jose State and head coach TBone will make the cross country trip to Kent. Kent then has to go into Infocision Stadium to do battle with their arch rival, the Akron Zips. Home games against Bowling Green and Buffalo precede a well deserved Bye week. The Flashes then travel to Temple, have home games with Northern Illinois and Miami before travelling to Yipsilatni for the annual rivalry with Plague and the Eastern Eagles. The Flashes will close the 2015 season with a game in Athens against Ohio. PROFIO'S OUTLOOK: "I know we have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but these kids are hungry for more. They have been to bowls three straight years and each time they have lost. They want to win, they know to win, and expect to win. This is the last year of my current contract and we have a lot of seniors on this team. The time to win is right now. I can guarantee to the city of Kent, to the people of Portage County, and to all of our fans across Northeast Ohio that we will give you a team to be proud of. These kids and our coaches are going to give it all we got. They will hit hard, they will execute the offense perfectly, and the coaches will work hard to put them into a position to win. We're hungry and we are going to make some noise this year."