August 2, 2014

Haynes looking to improve after 4-8 season

Paul Haynes' first season as head coach of Kent State didn't go as expected.

The Golden Flashes went 4-8 last season coming off a trip to the Mid-American Conference Championship and a loss against Northern Illinois in Detroit away from being the team to break into the BCS.

KSU will be looking to bounce back into the MAC East race this season with 14 returning starters.

"We've got to get humble and look back at the things we need to improve on," Haynes said. "That's what we did."

The Flashes find themselves in the bottom half of the MAC East in the preseason poll at No. 5 ahead of UMass and Miami, but looking ahead to Buffalo, Ohio, Akron and Bowling Green.

In a scheduling oddity, KSU will have a chance to prove last season was a fluke by taking on MAC East rival Ohio to being the season.

The Flashes will take on the Bobcats at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 at home. They will also host South Alabama before traveling to Ohio State and Virginia before restarting the MAC schedule.

"It's a tough schedule," Haynes said. "We have a league opponent in our first game and then play one of the top-teams in the Sun Belt and Ohio State. Those are things you can't control."

On the offense three starting linemen return and will be paving the way for running back Trayion Durham who ran for 766 yards as he filled in for Dri Archer.

"You've got to be able to run the ball to be successful," Haynes said. "With a guy like Trayion you can do that. We have guys returning on the offensive line so hopefully they'll be much improved and that will help the offense."

Haynes agrees with the media's selection to put his team at No. 5 in the MAC East, but it doesn't stop the program from building to get back to be in the mix for a MAC title.

"I'd say we're right there (No. 5)," he said. "It's not about the beginning, it's the end. Everyone works for a bowl game and we're all on equal playing field right now, but it's something you got to work to. We'll getting our works deserve."

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