The Kent State Golden Flashes will have to replace five starters from an offense that averaged 33.1 points per game in 2012. However, their explosive running back Dri Archer is determined to carry the team on his back. Archer may be diminutive, standing at only 5-foot-8 and weighing only 175 pounds, but he is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the football.
Archer led the Golden Flashes in rushing last season with 1,429 yards. He averaged an amazing 9.0 yards per carry and led the team in receptions with 39. His combined 20 touchdowns in 2012 (16 rushing, four receiving) were tied with Central Michigan’s Zurlon Tipton for most in the MAC among running backs. Archer is able to hide behind his line and force defenders to find him. His speed and acceleration allow him to cut on a dime and take it to the house. Archer will be running behind an offensive line that loses three starters, however. The biggest loss from that unit is offensive tackle Brian Winters, who was a third round 2013 NFL Draft pick by the New York Jets.
Archer is being touted by Kent State as a 2013 Heisman Trophy candidate. The Golden Flashes finished 11-3 last season, but their head coach Darrell Hazell has moved on to coach Purdue. If Archer is to make it to the Big Apple in December, Kent State will have to run the table in the MAC. The Golden Flashes have both Penn State and LSU on the road in September. This can set the stage for Archer’s Heisman run. If Archer is able to breakout against the Nittany Lions and Tigers, he could be on his way to a stellar 2013 season.
Kent State opens their season on Thursday night at home against Liberty.