INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Darrell Hazell dissects the same problems every week. Too many turnovers, not enough third-down conversions or points and a defense that stays on the field far too long. After spending two bye weeks trying to find solutions, Purdue’s first-year coach isn’t giving up on the 2013 season. Nope, he’s trying to build a better program by digging in for the long haul. ”Some of those younger players are getting better each week and that’s what you’re hoping for, and right now we are playing a blend of older guys and younger guys and I think we are making significant strides,” Hazell said Tuesday. ”It’s sometimes hard to see that from the outside, but you can see some little successes from within the program. I assure you, we are trying to win games this year.” Hazell is aware how discouraging the early results might appear to most fans. Purdue (1-6, 0-3 Big Ten) has lost five straight, was shutout in its last game by Michigan State, already has made one quarterback change and now faces another daunting challenge when No. 4 Ohio State comes to town Saturday. The stats are even more depressing. Only three teams – Miami (Ohio), Florida International and Southern Mississippi – are scoring fewer points per game than the Boilermakers’ 13.1, and Purdue’s 15 turnovers are tied for third most in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are last in the league in third-down conversions (29.5 percent), red-zone offense (62.5 percent) and red-zone defense (92.6 percent). Fortunately, Hazell has a little experience with escaping this sort of tailspin. In 2011, he took over a moribund Kent State program that hadn’t posted a winning record in almost a quarter-century or reached a bowl game in nearly four decades. It looked like it would be more of the same when Hazell started 1-6 in his first season. Then, suddenly everything changed. The Golden Flashes won 15 of their next 19, the first division crown in school history and reached a bowl game last season. That’s the primary reason he landed at Purdue. So he’s not about to panic now. ”It’s going to take off; at some point in time, there will be that breakthrough moment,” Hazell said. Nobody is suggesting that Hazell’s restoration project at Purdue will go as smooth or as fast as it did at Kent State. But there are ways to make progress over the final month of the season. Hazell spent the last week preaching the importance of ball security and getting the defense into the right spots. Will it be enough to win a third straight home game against Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0), who still haven’t lost under second-year coach Urban Meyer?
He’s the name Ohio State fans haven’t heard yet, but the one that won’t be forgotten among Buckeyes fans over the next two years. A sophomore out of Lorain, Ohio, defensive end Rashod Berry certainly looks the part at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. His 21 tackles and one sack weren’t close to the team lead for the Titans last season, but his recruiting has shot off the charts in the offseason. With muscle packed on top of muscle, Berry already counts offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State and Toledo along with interest from Michigan and Ohio State.
The “what if” scenarios regarding college football are a revolving door this time of year. Boston College, Temple, Auburn, Kent State, Wisconsin and Tennessee are just a few schools hit with coaching changes in the last few weeks. Those changes could have an impact not just with players on the current team, but in recruiting as well. Urban Meyer isn’t likely to go anywhere after Ohio State’s 12-0 season, but what if one of his assistant coaches left for another gig?
KENT, Ohio – The Akron men's basketball team clinched its first-ever Mid-American Conference regular-season championship with a 61-55 victory over neighborhood rival Kent State on Friday night at M.A.C. Center before a national ESPN2 television audience.
CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference season finale between the Akron Zips and the Kent State Golden Flashes will air on ESPN2 on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m. ET the league office announced on Thursday.
AKRON, Ohio – Nick Harney scored 21 points, 19 in the second half, to lead Akron to an 84-75 comeback win over neighborhood rival and Mid-American Conference East Division opponent Kent State on Saturday night in front of a sold out Rhodes Arena crowd and SportsTime Ohio television audience.