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at Akron 36 … VMI 13

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - VMI at Akron


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - VMI at Akron

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Sept. 24 at Akron 36 … VMI 13
(AP) AKRON, Ohio -- Akron rushed for 294 yards and amassed 534 yards total offense in a 36-13 rout of Virginia Military Institute Saturday. The matchup of winless teams was no contest at all, not with Akron's Clayton Moore passing for 223 yards and three touchdowns.

The Zips (1-3) got on the board early and often, opening up a quick 14-0 lead and leading 29-7 at halftime. Moore threw two touchdown passes to Keith Sconiers, the first a 31-yarder to open the scoring in the first quarter. Sconiers scored again in the second period on a 10-yard touchdown pass, one of his eight receptions totaling 154 yards.

VMI (0-4) got a 39-yard touchdown pass from Eric Kordenbrock to Stefawn Ross in the first quarter. By the time VMI scored again in the fourth quarter, Moore had thrown his third touchdown pass, this one a 23-yarder to Jerrod Dillard for a 36-7 lead.

VMI (0-3) at UAB (0-3) Saturday , 2 PM ET

Here’s The Deal …
Both teams enter this game looking to earn its first win of the season.

Led by former South Carolina head coach Sparky Woods, VMI seeks its first winning season since 1981. So far, things have not worked out well this season, as the Keydets lost the first three games after playing a brutal schedule. After dropping a nail biter to Delaware State in the opener, VMI remained competitive against CAA powerhouses William & Mary and Richmond, who are both in the FCS Top 10.

Akron finds itself in a similar situation, after suffering blowout losses to Ohio State, Temple, and Cincinnati over the first three games. However, the Zips have improved each week, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter last week, and actually outgaining the Cincinnati in total yardage.

This game presents an opportunity to turn around the season for each team. A VMI victory over a MAC team would give the Keydets some much-needed confidence heading into Big South play. For Akron, a win would lay the groundwork for a late-season surge, and a possible bowl bid. However, a loss to VMI would greatly reduce their margin for error.

Why VMI might win: The Keydets will continue to play hard, regardless of what adversity they encounter. After falling behind 34-0 to Richmond last week, they rallied for two fourth quarter TD’s behind a rejuvenated offense. Despite the lack of success in the win column, VMI has been able to move the ball with its pro-style attack this season against some of the better defenses in the FCS. The Keydets average nearly 100 yards per game on the ground, another 200 yards through the air.

While these numbers might not seem that explosive, they were good enough to remain competitive, with the largest margin of victory being 17 points. VMI should have some success on offense this week, as Akron’s defense has not stopped anyone this season. Yes, they did face some top quality offenses the first few weeks, but the numbers do not lie. The Zips yielded almost 700 yards rushing after the first three games. The pass defense has struggled as well, as opposing QB’s have completed over 60% of their passes.

Why Akron might win: After falling behind 52-0 at the half last week, Coach Rob Ianello challenged his team to play the second half as if the score was 0-0. The Zips responded by winning the second half 14-10. The offense finally found its groove last week, scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns, and amassing 349 yards of offense. This momentum will carry over into this week.

Akron will mix it up offensively, using its size advantage to overpower the smaller Keydet defensive line. When VMI tries to stop the run, the Zips will beat them deep. Even though the Keydets have played against some of the top offensive talent in the FCS, including former USC starting QB Aaron Corp, they will struggle match the size and the speed of an FBS caliber offense.

What To Watch Out For: Keep an eye out for VMI star RB Chaz Jones, who led the team in rushing a year ago despite missing two games due to injury. The lone bright spot on the Keydet offense so far, Jones averages 76 yards rushing per game. A dual threat out of the backfield, Jones also has nine receptions for 60 yards. Offensive coordinator Matt Campbell will look to get the ball into his hands as often as possible to take advantage of Jones speed against the Zips.

For Akron, QB Clayton Moore holds the keys to victory. The sophomore QB has done well for the Zips when he has time to throw the ball. Last week, Moore overcame a disastrous first half, to lead the Zips to their first two touchdowns of the year in the second half. Akron will rely heavily on Moore’s arm to defeat a VMI secondary that is susceptible to the big play. However, if the Keydets bring too much pressure on Moore, he can also beat them with his legs.

What will happen VMI will move the ball down the field in beginning, and keep the game close. However, QB Clayton Moore will hit some big throws down field to WR’s Keith Sconiers and Marquelo Suel to establish an early lead. While the Keydets will battle back gallantly, the Zip will pull away in the second half for a decisive victory.

CFN Prediction: Akron 35 … VMI 17  
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