Inside Marshall Sports

Grades for Kent State game

OFFENSE: C-

For one glorious quarter — the fourth — the Herd ran the ball! That’s the only thing that fishes this grade out of D-or F-dom. Entering the fourth quarter, the Herd rushed for 39 yards on 19 carries against a weak defense. Final tally: 33 for 158, with Tyler King gaining 101 of the 139 in the quarter. Big ups to Tyler King in his college debut. Final note: Zero sacks.

DEFENSE: A

Stoned one drive at its 9-yard line and stopped others at the 25, 15 and 29. One big interception near the goal line and *7* sacks. Held a run-heavy offense to 142 yards rushing on 44 carries, a 3.2 average. And scored a goose egg — automatic “A.”

SPECIAL TEAMS: D

I’ll give Kaare Vedvik credit for his 42.8-yard average on six kicks, with a long of 54. He considered a fake off the rugby punt and beware — he’s athletic enough to do it. Then there is Trey Rodriguez — 5 punt returns, zero yards, long of 20. Digest that one.

QUARTERBACKING: C-

Litton raised this grade his 14-yard scoring run that made it 14-0, but he should have hit Marcel Williams wide open down the middle. 23 of 43 for 223 yards, a TD and a pick (good play by a well-regarded CB). A 100.7 NCAA passer rating with excellent pass protection is unacceptable.

COACHING: C

This is 100 percent an nod to Chuck Heater, who had to prepare his team to face an unusual offense that requires patience to defend. Let’s see how the coaches bring along Tyler King, who looks as if he will become the ace of the running back room. And finally, it’s time for Hyleck Foster on punt returns … please.

OVERALL: C

We must remind ourselves that this is Kent State, a team that might go 4-8 if lucky, and will do worse if QB Nick Holley doesn’t come back from the injury he suffered on the first possession here. Then again, a 3-touchdown win wasn’t that surprising. Go into the bye week, get a couple of linemen back and prepare for Cincy.