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Thursday, September 17, 2009
Freshman Keith gets start for Kent State



Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

Michael Tureski/Icon SMI
Spencer Keith steps into the starting lineup for Kent State after a strong relief appearance.

Kent State freshman quarterback Spencer Keith threw the only touchdown in last week’s 34-7 loss to Boston College and that was enough to give coach Doug Martin the confidence to start him against Iowa State on Saturday.

Keith will replace Giorgio Morgan, who suffered a sprained ankle in the season opener against Coastal Carolina and reinjured it again against Boston College. Morgan practiced well on Wednesday and showed little sign of injury, but with Mid-American Conference play starting next week, Martin decided to give his starter some rest.

Keith completed 9 of 14 for 71 yards and an interception in relief of Morgan against Boston College, but didn’t throw the touchdown until late in the game.

The plan coming into the season was to redshirt Keith, but now he’ll be Morgan’s primary backup and redshirt in 2010.

While Saturday’s game against Iowa State will be valuable experience for Keith, it also will be a tough situation with the loss of starting running back Eugene Jarvis, who suffered a lacerated kidney against Boston College and is out for the season.

Kent State ranks 106th in the country in total offense with just 261.50 yards per game; 100 yards of that came on the ground. The Golden Flashes are averaging 12.50 points per game. However, Iowa State’s pass defense hasn’t been great, allowing 407 yards per game.