2013 Akron Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 20, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Akron Zip Offense


Akron Zips

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 Akron Preview | 2013 Akron Offense
- 2013 Akron Defense | 2013 Akron Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: The offense wasn’t timely, it didn’t do enough with the running game, and it wasn’t efficient enough, but it also wasn’t the problem averaging a solid 427 yards and 26 points per game. Quarterback Dalton Williams is gone along with No. 1 receiver Marquelo Smith, but there’s a good group of pass catchers coming back with almost all the other major contributors coming back. The running back situation should help out the emerging passing game with Jawon Chisholm and Conor Hundley providing a decent tandem that needs the ball more. The line struggled for the ground game but wasn’t awful in pass protection. It’s a good-sized front five with promise, but the right side needs new starters.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Kyle Pohl
38-58, 366 yds, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jawon Chisolm
180 carries, 953 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: L.T. Smith
48 catches, 509 yds, 3 TD

Star of the offense: Junior RB Jawon Chisholm
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore QB Kyle Pohl
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Andrew Pratt
Best pro prospect: Chisolm
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Chisolm, 2) WR L.T. Smith, 3) WR Jerrod Dillard
Strength of the offense: Receivers, Running Back
Weakness of the offense: Ground Game, Line Depth

Quarterbacks

Dalton Williams is gone after coming up with a big 3,387-yard, 25 touchdown season, but there are options waiting to take over, led by sophomore Kyle Pohl, a big 6-3, 213-pound pure passer with smarts, stature and the arm to do a little everything. A good athlete, he can move a little bit, but his job will be to throw and throw some more, if he earns the spot. He got in a little time as a true freshman throwing three touchdown passes in the blowout win over Morgan State and getting a bulk of the work against Toledo, throwing for 213 yards and two scores with a pick.

The starting job is open, but the bigger battle will be for the No. 2 job. With Steve Franco transferring, the leader is Curtis Watson, a 6-3, 227-pound senior from Lake Erie College who has a live arm and decent upside if he can get on the field and get a little experience. On the way is Thomas Woodson, a 6-2, 225-pound ready-made factor who threw for 2,395 yards and 23 scores with just four picks as a senior. While he’s a throws, he’s also one of the team’s best running quarterbacks.

Watch Out For … Watson. He’s the type of passer who would’ve been a lock for a decent BCS school if he had the right tools. The talent is there to put up big numbers right away if given the chance.
Strength: The offense. The defense allowed so many points last season that Williams had to keep throwing. The passing game should a strength again, but first there needs to be a little …
Weakness: Experience. The Zips need Pohl to learn on the fly while hoping someone can emerge as a decent No. 2. There’s almost nothing to rely on other than practice time.
Outlook: Williams was everything the offense needed, doing anything possible to make something happen in a woeful season. Now it’s Pohl’s turn, and he has the potential and talent to come up with a 3,000-yard season if the line gives him some help.
Unit Rating:

Running Backs

The running game wasn’t totally ignored; it just didn’t get much of an opportunity to get settled. Junior Jawon Chisholm did what he could with a team-leading 953 yards and five scores on 180 carries. Effective when he got his chances, the 6-1, 200-pounder showed off power and speed, able to barrel up the middle while flashing some nice hands catching 38 passes for 310 yards and two scores. Slippery, he came up with six 100-yard games on the year including a midseason run of three in a row before getting banged up. 1,000 yards is a lock if he gets the ball enough.

Sophomore Conor Hundley got plenty of work in his true freshman season, stepping up with Chisholm went down late in the season to finish with 279 yards and three touchdowns on 73 carries. The 5-11, 203-pounder can catch a little, too making five grabs for 59 yards. At 5-10 and 215 pounds, he packs a little bit of a punch, while 5-7, 171-pound sophomore Hakeem Lawrence is a speedster with the potential to be great in the open field. The Miami native finished fourth on the team running for 82 yards on nine carries, but he’ll be dangerous when given the ball in space.

While Lawrence will be used in a fullback role just to get him on the field, 6-0, 246-pound Christian Allen is a true blocker. He won’t get the ball in his hands, but he has the bulk to pound away when needed for the ground game. 6-2, 270-pound junior Jeff Allen is an even bigger blocker who’ll only be used to lead the way.

Watch Out For … Manny. Emmanuel “Manny” Morgan is a 5-9, 190-pound flash out of Naples, Florida, who ran averaged almost 8.5 yards per carry with 25 touchdowns as a senior. He’s an all-around playmaker who could be used in a variety of ways.
Strength: Chisolm. He’s a strong, talented veteran who has proven himself when he can stay healthy. He could use a bit more help from Hundley and others, but with his receiving skills and running ability he’ll get the ball close to 250 times.
Weakness: Chances. The team relied on the passing game way too much with the backs getting just 365 carries with the team averaging a paltry 3.8 yards per carry with just nine scores. Chisolm needs at least 200 carries.
Outlook: Until the quarterback situation is settled, this will be the strength of the offense with Chisolm and Hundley able to do a little of everything. They won’t run for 2,000 yards, but they’ll be effective when given the opportunity.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Receivers

The receiving corps has to replace top target Marquelo Suel, who led the way with 76 catches, but there’s hope. Junior L.T. Smith tied for second on the team with 48 catches for 509 yards and three scores as a steady complementary target. However, two of his scores came in the first two games and he didn’t get into the end zone over the final five. At 6-0 and 205 pounds he has good size for the Z, while 6-0, 181-pound Keith Sconiers found a nice role at the outside X catching 41 passes for 479 yards with a touchdown. A good get for the program a few years ago, he’s a solid veteran, while 6-5, 202-pound senior Jerrod Dillard, a big deep threat who turned into a find over the second half of the season making 29 catches for 401 yards and nine scores with six touchdowns over a four game span. He can be used deep or around the goal line with his big frame able to shield off smallish defenders.

While not all that big at 5-8 and 182 pounds, Jacksonville native Dee Frieson was a steady factor with 48 catches for 400 yards and four scores. While he’s quick, he wasn’t able to bust out many big plays and couldn’t do enough on the move. He can play any of the receiver spots, but the big key could be 6-2, 202-pund sophomore Tyrell Goodman after catching 14 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns as part of the rotation on the X. Fast, the former high school quarterback has the potential to stretch the field and the talent to step in for Suel at the Y.

The tight ends weren’t used too much last season with Rhyne Ladrach only catching one pass for a 12-yard touchdown, but 6-4, 247-pound junior Anthony Ritossa has the potential to be a big part of the attack with a good frame and nice hands. He didn’t catch any passes last season, but he can be used as a big receiver. On the way is Michael Kish, a 6-5, 260-pound blocker who’ll likely be beefed up to be used on the line, but he could serve as a big option in two tight end sets.

Watch Out For … Andrew Pratt, a 6-5, 213-pound sophomore who averaged a team-leading 15.6 yards per catch with ten grabs for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Very big and very fast, he’s a sprinter who can stretch the field from any of the spots.
Strength: Overall experience. Losing Suel takes away the go-to-guy, but just about everyone else of note returns. Throw in the injured Zach D’Orazio as well as the running backs, and the nine players other then Suel to catch double-digit passes are back.
Weakness: Tight end. This should be an easy area for the Zips with decent prospects and a pass-happy offense that needs safety valves, but the tight ends weren’t involved. Ritossa has to change that.
Outlook: This could be a solid area of the quarterback situation is settled right away. There’s a good blend of speed, experience and skill, and while it would be nice to have a true No. 1 like Suel, this group should do just fine.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Offensive Line

The line turned into a shocking positive in pass protection, but didn’t do much against the run. Expect more of the same with sophomore Quaison Osborne leading the way at left tackle. The 6-3, 297-pounder isn’t huge, but he’s decent moving his feet and can lock on well. He’ll once again work next to left guard Jarrod Pughsley, a 6-5, 291-pound veteran who returned from missing almost all of 2011 hurt to start ten games. Versatile, he can work just about anywhere on the line.

Center Travis Switzer returns after starting every game as a sophomore. At 6-2 and 280 pounds he’s not huge, but he gets good leverage and has the smarts to handle himself well as the leader up front. The line is becoming his, and he’ll have to be even stronger with question marks on the right side. Sophomore Dylan Brumbaugh spend most of last season working behind Pughsley on the left side, but he started five times and has enough experience to potentially get by in the full-time job on the right. Senior Joe Petrides has a good shot of taking over Adam Bice’s vacated right tackle job after beefing up this offseason. Around 265 last season, the 6-5 Petrides got up to 300 pounds and should be able to handle the workload a bit better for the ground game.

Watch Out For … JUCO transfer Cedric Brittnum. At 6-6 and 330 pounds the Chicago native is a massive prospect who bounced around a little bit starting off at Arizona Western College before settling in at Asa Community College in New York. Athletic for his size, and extremely versatile, he can play anywhere up front.
Strength: The left side. If you’re going to lose two starters, they might as well be on the right side. Osborne and Pughsley could easily move around, but they’re settled in on the right side after starting a combined 22 times last season. They should be tighter.
Weakness: The right side. Brumbaugh needs to be more consistent, and it’s possible he could get in on the left side and force Pughsley to the right. The line didn’t do enough for the ground game, and finding the right guard combination should change that.
Outlook: It’s not an elite line, but it will be good enough. Switzer, Pughsley and Osborne are veterans who won’t need any hand-holding, but while the starting five might turn out to be decent, the run blocking has to be more physical and the depth has to develop in a hurry.
Unit Rating: 5
 
- 2013 Akron Preview | 2013 Akron Offense
- 2013 Akron Defense | 2013 Akron Depth Chart