QB Joshua Cribbs

2002 Statistics

Coach: Dean Pees
12-44, 5 years
2002 Record: 3-9
at Ohio State LOST 17-51
at Miami OH LOST 20-27
at Northern Illinois LOST 6-13
at Buffalo WON 16-12
at Connecticut LOST 21-63
at UCF LOST 6-32

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Kent State is a team on the mend. 2002 was a devastating year - 96 total games were missed by starters or key reserves - that earned but three wins. After their first wining season in 14 years, 2001 represented a turn-around prematurely lauded. Can these kids make something out of their up-and-down past?

Look for at least one more win from the Golden Flashes. Yet predicting four wins doesn't make 2003 seem like much of a turn-around. The offense will be revamped, meaning the new 3-receiver sets will struggle early. The defense has both strengths and weaknesses - predictions of their performance seem impossible to make. With KSU's range of possible outcomes, the defense will dictate whether offensive successes - and there will be offensive successes - can equal wins.

The schedule looks daunting - early games at both Pitt and Penn State within Kent's first four - with tough games all year. Mental acumen will be needed to persevere through season's first half. Losing has to be filled with extractable lessons that carry over, accordingly. If losing morally-deflates the Golden Flashes, 2003 will be another long campaign of finger pointing and coulda-woulda-shoulda. 2004 looks promising, but only if 2003 can inaugurate such a competitive spirit. Look for marked improvements individually, but banking on team success could prove premature. This squad will be more challenging to opponents, but similar results will abound regardless.

Projected 2003 record: 5-7
QB - ?? DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 2 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Joshua Cribbs, 186-91-14, 1014 yds., 4 TD

Rushing: Joshua Cribbs, 137 att., 1057 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Darrell Dowery, 34 rec., 348 yds., 0 TD

Scoring: Joshua Cribbs, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Travis Mayle, 12-14 FG, 22-24 PAT, 58 pts.

Tackles: Shannon Davis, 86 tot., 55 solo

Sacks: Tom Crock, 2.5 sacks

Interceptions: Shannon Davis, 2 for 32 yds.

Kickoff returns: Antonio King, 30 ret., 19.9 avg.

Punt returns: Shannon Davis, 11 ret., 8.5 avg.


OFFENSE: Joshua Bostic-WR, Kevin Jamieson-OG, Joel Reikowski-OT, Brycen Erbe-TE, Eddie Beccles-RB
DEFENSE: John Nurczyk-DL, Roy Attieh-DT, Nate Wesley-DE, Shawn Armstead-LB, Justin Baugham-CB, Jacon Avery-SS, Robert James-DB, Nashville Dyer-CB, Jared Fritz-P

written by Dave Hershorin

This season Kent will different. A pure running team since forever, this offense will open itself up into a one-back, three-receiver set that should make Saturday's much more fun in northern Ohio. Junior QB Josh Cribbs again will be the focus for defenses, but his marginal skills are what will be on display instead of his fleet feet. But look for him to garner most of the carries, regardless. Cribbs returns as the Golden Flashes leading ground gainer (actually, the best in all I-A with a 7.7 yards per rush attempt). Defenses will have to key on this facet regardless to keep him from becoming the first I-A player to both run and pass for 1000 yards three consecutive seasons. Cribbs' individual numbers through the air fail to impress (14 INTs in 186 attempts, 49% comp.), but look for the new offensive focus to fix that fact. Cribb's subtle mental decisions will dictate whether this team approach changes anything within actual win totals increasing. Darryl Polk has enough game experience to provide KSU with a quality sub should Cribbs fall.

Senior TB David Alston provides the backfield compliment to Cribbs. His solid build will be difficult to arm-tackle, but he has been fumble-prone enough to often negate his bankable impact. Anyway you slice it, the rushing numbers will decrease in 2003. 215-pound freshman backup Elijah Brooks represents the Golden Flashes' future - this means we will see him early and often in 2003. His inclusion into the new offenses' schemes will pay immediate dividends if HC Dean Pees can make it so. He and Alston as a one-two punch would work well, with Cribbs keeping LBs always on their heels as the unpredictable factor he could be if not checked.

The receiving corps is a work in progress. They have their work well cut out with the assuredly increasing number of pass plays that will be called. Starting junior Darrel
Dowery, Jr. returns with the team's best hands. But he, along with starters Daryl Moore and Derrick Bush, measures up under 6-foot. All the second-teamers do measure above the vaunted 6-foot mark. We recommend Pees look to the backups, especially converted-QB Antwan Smith and his speedy abilities. If part of the receiver mix, these taller snarlers will cause secondaries to have match-up problems regularly. Smith can pose an option that could be the variable to open up this talented group. With 2003's wide-open attack, 5.2 yards per pass (long of 58 yards) will not due - someone has to emerge as a deep threat for the new scheme to work.

The OL is returning two of its five starters. Included in the returnees are LT Jason Andrews and All-MAC center Steve Smith. Smith is an academic All-American who spear-heads their rushing push well enough to rank it in the nation's Top 15 two consecutive years. Andrews led pass protection efforts well enough that only 14 opponent's sacks were to be had. There is enough experience and size elsewhere to make this a formidable line deserving respect. But adjustments to the new approach could make sub-par performances occur (unfortunately) early in the 2003 campaign.


TB David Alston


Returning Starters in bold
QB Joshua Cribbs-Jr Darryl Polk-Jr
TB David Alston-Sr Elijah Brooks-Fr
WR Daryl Moore-Sr Maurio Medley-Sr
WR Darrell Dowery-Jr Najah Pruden-Fr
WR Derrick Bush-So Antwan Smith-Fr
TE Neil Buckosh-Sr Jim Alexander-Fr
OT Jason Andrews-Jr Nate Manning-Fr
OG Daniel Carter-So Travis Veser-Jr
C Steve Smith-Sr Tony Geohagan-Fr
OG Shaun Sarrett-Sr Craig Rafdal-Fr
OT Chad Bandiera-Jr Luke McKenzie-So
K Travis Mayle-So ..



written by Dave Hershorin

This side of the ball had a fact as disparaging and offset as the offenses' run-pass difference. The pass-defense was markedly better than the run-stopping, which made Kent's D easy for opponents to understand. The results were rather bad - a 103rd ranking against the pass and 43rd at stopping the run meant 103rd in scoring and 93rd in total defense.

The line is again suspect, with only senior NT Alan Williams returning. Williams' eight tackles-for-loss show an elusiveness opponents can't ignore. But his under-300-pound frame doesn't mandate constant double-teaming, and smallish sophomore ends Tomas Rodriguez and Daniel Muir won't increase the unit's girth. Rodriguez is a converted TE playing on this side of the ball for his first season. Fifth-year senior Tom Crock was KSU's Outstanding Defensive Lineman despite not starting until year's end. Even though, an increase in 2002's sack total of 14 is not likely in the cards. Between the line and the linebacking corps, opponents should not be able to earn 4.7 yards per try again.

How much that number decreases will be up to Kent's mid-rangers. Inside positions go to two who were injured most of 2002 - both junior Eric Mahl and returning starter (senior) Anthony Henriquez returned to spring in top form. Mahl displaced former starter Jon Sessler in mid-season - Sessler returns as his sub. Look for Mahl to become an All-MAC-level performer. Henriquez was 2001's top Golden Flash tackler, a status he will again garner if healthy throughout this campaign. Outside players Damian Stolowski and frosh Bruce Rice do not represent as skilled a level of play, but they can hold their own and should challenge opponents by sealing their given sides well. Converted RB Antonio King will also do damage as either a speedy sack specialist or strong safety. Depth here abounds, so count LBs as a KSU strength.

The secondary will be the variable that could easily dictate whether the Golden Flash succeed or fail. As stated, it was the glue in 2002 that kept Kent's marginally bad defense marginal in its badness. But things look unpredictable for this season, giving opponents' passing attacks confidence until proven. This unit lost both its corner starters. The incoming group, led by Andre Ashley and Barry Drakeford, sizes up poorly (none is taller than 5-11). Junior Shannon Davis is the group's only returning starter (and the team's top 2002 tackler). Little experience exists in the back ups, so their trial-by-fire over the first five games will tell all. If the defensive backfield is solid, this defense can impose itself weekly and decrease allowing 35-plus points per contest.


LB Eric Mahl


Returning Starters in bold
DE Tomas Rodriguez-So Justin Parrish-So
NT Alan Williams-Sr Roger Attieh-So
DE Daniel Muir-So Tom Crock-Sr
OLB Damian Stolowski-Jr Justin Latimer-Fr
ILB Anthony Henriquez-Sr John Mathews-So
ILB Eric Mahl-Jr Jon Sessler-So
OLB Bruce Rice-Fr Antonio King-Jr
CB Barry Drakeford-So Tyrell McElroy-So
CB Andre Ashley-Jr Mike White-So
SS Vashawn Patrick-Jr ..
FS Shannon Davis-Jr Desmond Turner-Sr
P Joshua Brazen-So ..




Travis Mayle is only a sophomore, but his 12-for-14 FG effort makes him a keeper. Josh Brazen replaces the solid Jared Fritz for punting chores, so no one knows how this department will perform. Both coverage and return results from 2002 were dismal, making 2003's need for improvements in either/both a top priority. Special teams could make the marginal difference in adding/subtracting a win or two.