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Kent State RB Dri Archer Winning the Heisman is Improbable, Not Impossible
By Bob Evans
Coming off a 2011 campaign in which they opened the season 1-6 and finished with just five wins, the Kent State Golden Flashes were literally on nobody’s radar heading into the 2012 season. However, behind the breakout performance of running back/all-around weapon Dri Archer, the Golden Flashes took the NCAA by storm.
Archer and the Golden Flashes won 10 games in a row following a Week 2 loss to Kentucky. Kent State finished the season 11-3 after losing the MAC Championship to Northern Illinois and the GoDaddy.com Bowl to Arkansas State. Despite ending the season on a losing note, there are increased expectations in Kent this year—and they all revolve around a potential Heisman Trophy candidate in Archer.
Last season was the beginning of something special for the 5’8” and 175-pound multi-purpose back. He rushed the ball 159 times for 1,429 yards and 16 touchdowns, finishing the season with a ridiculous average of nine yards per carry on the ground. Archer wasn’t just a runner though, as he impacted the game through the air with 39 receptions for 561 yards and four touchdowns. If his rushing and receiving numbers were not enough, the youngster from Florida returned 17 kickoffs for 591 yards and three touchdowns.
For those of you who cannot do math, Archer accounted for more than 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns last season for the Golden Flashes.
Bursting onto the scene like that not only earned Archer attention around the state of Ohio, but on a National level as well. His 2012 campaign was so great, that Kent State has started a Heisman Trophy campaign for their senior. But this is not your normal campaign, as the Golden Flashes have started a comic series called “The Archer” which debuted last week and will run weekly throughout the season. You can check it out on Twitter @Dri4Heisman.
While Archer’s chances of winning the Heisman Trophy are not impossible, the fact that he plays in the MAC and for a team that traditionally does not face many “big name” challenges certainly stack the odds against him. Since 1990, the smallest schools to have a Heisman Trophy winner were BYU (Ty Detmer, 1990) and Colorado (Rashaan Salaam, 1994).
When you take a look at Archer and the Golden Flashes’ 2013 schedule, there will be a couple opportunities for Archer to put himself on the national map. The biggest one comes in their third game of the year, as Kent State hits the road to take on LSU at night on ESPN. Putting up video game numbers against one of the toughest defenses year in and year out would certainly force voters to take notice. The other opportunity is the following week, as Kent State takes on Big Ten foe Penn State.
As Kent State and the rest of their fan base pushes for a Heisman Trophy win for Archer, being considered would be a major win for their program. After racking up double digit wins last season, having a player in Heisman contention would do wonders for their recruiting for future seasons.
So as the Golden Flashes get set to open the season against Liberty next week, the Archer for Heisman campaign will take center stage. For the sake of Archer and Kent State, let’s hope there is more than one lightning quick player from the state of Ohio up for the Heisman at the end of the season.
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