Previewing Akron: Not Your Typical MAC Defense…or Offense
The Eastern Michigan University football team is set to host the University of Akron on Saturday afternoon for the teams second Mid-American Conference game of the season. Akron will come into Ypsilanti looking to spoil homecoming for the Eagles players, coaches and fans.
Zips Come for Homecoming
The Zips will travel to Rynearson Stadium on Saturday, with its fourth year head coach, Terry Bowden. The Zips are currently 2-3 on the season and coming off a 14-12 loss to the Ohio University Bobcats.
Eastern Michigan has an all-time 12-18 record against Akron, dating back to 1949. The last time the two teams met was last season, when Akron beat EMU by a score of 31-6.
Akron went 5-7 last season, coming up one win away from being in line for a bid to play in a bowl game. The Zips only won three MAC games a season ago and are looking to making a quick turnaround to make a postseason bowl appearance.
Not one… Not two… But three…
The Zips come in to Ypsilanti having used three different quarterbacks this season in Kyle Pohl, Thomas Woodson, and Tra’Von Chapman. Woodson has seen the most playing time for Akron, as he’s played in four of the Zips five games, throwing for 676 yards this season. Akron isn’t the strongest team throwing the ball, with just as many interceptions as passing touchdowns. Woodson has played in more games due to his talent as a dual threat quarterback that can run when the option is called upon him.
Spreading it out for Power
EMU just came off playing Louisiana State University, one of the strongest running teams in the nation. Akron isn’t much different with its run game, but the Zips approach things differently. Running back Connor Hundley is the MAC’s version of Leonard Fournette of LSU. He bounces of tacklers, as well as runs over many defenders on his way to the end-zone. The Akron run game isn’t something EMU hasn’t faced before, but the difference being that Akron likes to run the ball even with a spread offense. The Zips can have four wide receivers lined up, and then hand the ball off up the middle. This part of its offense gives Akron more room in the gaps of the offensive line to break-off for big yardage.
Move the Ball, Run the Clock
Akron has dominated the clock in each of the last few games. The offense will take its time to get a play in, and be sure to run the clock. Look for Akron to run the ball and complete short passes to move the ball down the field. The Zips have receivers with the ability to go for more yards after the catch, having the talent to break tackles and find space.
Defense Doesn’t Allow Much
Akron gave up 14 points to Ohio,14 points to University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 9 points to Savannah State University, 24 points to the University of Pittsburgh, and 41 points to Oklahoma State University. If you don’t count the score to the nationally ranked Sooners, the Akron defense on average gives up 15 points-per-game. This is one of the best averages in all of college football. EMU will have some obstacles to overcome in order to get on the board. Akron has a strong defensive line that has held many defenses to little progress on the ground.