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CFN Take: Akron Hangs On To Beat Toledo

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 29, 2013


Akron Zips 2013 ... Head Coach: Terry Bowden


Akron Zips

2013 Record: 5-7
8/29 at UCF L 38-7
9/7 James Madison W 35-33
9/14 at Michigan L 28-24
9/21 La-Lafayette L 35-30
9/28 at Bowling Green L 31-14
10/5 Ohio L 43-4
10/12 at NIU L 27-20
10/19 at Miami Univ. W 24-17
10/26 Ball State L 42-24
11/2 Kent State W 16-9
11/9 at UMass W 14-13
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/29 Toledo W 31-29
Akron Toledo

at Akron 31, Toledo 29
Basically … Akron got three touchdown passes from Kyle Pohl and a two-yard scoring run from Jawon Chisolm on the way to a 31-17 lead, but the D had to hold on in the final moments. Bernard Reedy caught a 28-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth, and Marc Remy scored from three points out with under a minute to play to pull the Rockets within two, but Akron’s Bryce Cheek broke up a two-point conversion try and the Zips recovered the onside kick to hang on.
- Akron QB Kyle Pohl completed 18-of-29 passes for 259 yards and three scores
- Toledo QB Terrence Owens completed 16-of-33 passes for 158 yards and three scores.
- Toledo RB Marc Remy ran 16 times for 103 yards and a score, and Kareem Hunt ran 19 times for 103 yards.
- Akron averaged 8.6 yards per throw. Toledo averaged 4.8 yards per try.

Akron Toledo

at Akron 31, Toledo 29
Basically … Akron got three touchdown passes from Kyle Pohl and a two-yard scoring run from Jawon Chisolm on the way to a 31-17 lead, but the D had to hold on in the final moments. Bernard Reedy caught a 28-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth, and Marc Remy scored from three points out with under a minute to play to pull the Rockets within two, but Akron’s Bryce Cheek broke up a two-point conversion try and the Zips recovered the onside kick to hang on.
- Akron QB Kyle Pohl completed 18-of-29 passes for 259 yards and three scores
- Toledo QB Terrence Owens completed 16-of-33 passes for 158 yards and three scores.
- Toledo RB Marc Remy ran 16 times for 103 yards and a score, and Kareem Hunt ran 19 times for 103 yards.
- Akron averaged 8.6 yards per throw. Toledo averaged 4.8 yards per try.

at Akron 16, Kent State 7, Nov. 2
Basically … Akron got field goals on all three red-zone visits to beat Kent State for its second MAC win of the year. The Zips’ sole touchdown came from a trick play on the fourth play from scrimmage when receiver Zach D’Orazio hit L.T. Smith for a 33-yard touchdown. Kent State tied it on a three-yard run by Trayion Durham, but that was the Golden Flashes’ only trip to the red zone and Akron’s Robert Stein hit three field goals from inside 30 yards to win the game.
- Akron RB Jawon Chisholm ran for 151 yards on 27 carries, but did not score.
- Kent State QB Colin Reardon completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 138 yards and three interceptions.
- Akron held the ball for 32:54, with three drives of more than five minutes and 10 plays.
- Kent State had five turnovers, but Akron only scored three points off them.

at Akron 16, Kent State 7, Nov. 2
Basically … Akron got field goals on all three red-zone visits to beat Kent State for its second MAC win of the year. The Zips’ sole touchdown came from a trick play on the fourth play from scrimmage when receiver Zach D’Orazio hit L.T. Smith for a 33-yard touchdown. Kent State tied it on a three-yard run by Trayion Durham, but that was the Golden Flashes’ only trip to the red zone and Akron’s Robert Stein hit three field goals from inside 30 yards to win the game.
- Akron RB Jawon Chisholm ran for 151 yards on 27 carries, but did not score.
- Kent State QB Colin Reardon completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 138 yards and three interceptions.
- Akron held the ball for 32:54, with three drives of more than five minutes and 10 plays.
- Kent State had five turnovers, but Akron only scored three points off them.

at Northern Illinois 27, Akron 20
Basically … NIU was in for more of a fight than it might have liked, giving up two one-yard touchdown runs to Jawon Chisolm and an 11-yard Tyrell Goodman touchdown catch with just under five minutes to play, but the Huskie defense held firm on two late Zip drives. Jordan Lynch ran for a touchdown and threw a 25-yard score to Desroy Maxwell, and Tyler Wedel hit two field goals on the way to a 27-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
- NIU hasn’t been sharp, but it keeps on winning against vastly inferior teams. Jordan Lynch was okay, leading the team with 83 rushing yards and a score, but he only completed 16-of-35 passes for 220 yards and a score. Akron didn’t even play all that well, but the Huskies were miserable when it came time to move the chains, converting 1-of-15 third down chances. The team isn’t playing well enough to take anyone for granted, but the schedule doesn’t get any harder until a mid-November date with Ball State.
- Akron got close, but after getting blown away by Bowling Green and Ohio, it couldn’t close against NIU. Kyle Pohl threw it 56 times for 262 yards and a score, but he threw a pick. The ten penalties didn’t help, but the defense did a great job time and again on third downs and it kept the NIU midrange passing game under wraps. The Zips should be better than 1-6, but they need to find some consistency on offense and they need to find a way to stop someone in the fourth quarter. What’s the cure? Play Miami University – Akron goes to Oxford next week.

Ohio 43, at Akron 3
Basically … Ohio rolled at will with two touchdown passes from Tyler Tettleton and big plays from the defense. The Bobcats started out the scoring with a safety and got a fumble return for a score late in the first half. Akron tied it at three on a 31-yard Robert Stein field goal, but Ohio scored 40 unanswered points.
- It’s not like the Bobcats controlled the game on the ground, with Beau Blankenship running for just 67 yards, but they were always in control. The defense didn’t allow Akron to find any sort of a running game, while QB Tyler Tettleton came up with a smart, effective game throwing for 171 yards and two scores.
- Akron couldn’t find anything that worked on a regular basis, stumbling through 12 penalties and two turnovers that screwed things up time and again. Kyle Pohl only completed 11-of-26 passes for 101 yards with a pick, while the running game only finished with 56 yards thanks to Pohl getting sacked and being under pressure time and again, The Zip offensive line couldn’t stop the Bobcat D line.

Louisiana-Lafayette 35, at Akron 30
Basically … Both teams traded scores back and forth, but the Ragin’ Cajuns pulled away in the fourth, helped by an onside kick, and held on. Terrance Broadway threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores as Louisiana-Lafayette pushed ahead to a 35-24 lead, but Akron kept fighting. The Zips got three touchdown passes from Kyle Pohl, including a 28-yarder to Fransohn Bickley with 29 seconds to play, but the two-point conversion failed and the Ragin’ Cajuns recovered the onside kick.
- Onside kicks became a big deal. ULL recovered Akron’s last-gasp attempt, and up 28-24 late, it came up with one of its own, surprising the Zips and leading to what would turn out to be the game-winning scoring drive. It was a good calculated risk, with enough time to answer if Akron had recovered.
- Akron had its chances. Two missed field goals in the fourth quarter proved to be a big problem, and two interceptions were costly.
- Terrence Broadway was brilliant, completing 25-of-37 passes for 305 yards and three scores, and leading the team with 68 rushing yards with two scores.
- Kyle Pohl threw two picks, but he had a great day for the Zips, completing 27-of-43 passes for 321 yards and three scores with two picks. He kept fighting and kept the team in the game late.

at Michigan 28, Akron 24, Sept. 14
Basically … Michigan held on for dear life as a last second Akron pass into the end zone fell incomplete. The Zips hung around all game with a 27-yard pick six from Justin March and a one-yard Tyrell Goodman touchdown run in the fourth giving them a 24-21 lead, but Michigan roared back and took the lead for good on a two-yard Fitzgerald Toussaint run with just under three minutes to play. But the Michigan defense bent and bent and bent until the final play.
- Devin Gardner. About those interceptions for touchdowns, stop doing that. That’s two in two games, and he ended up throwing three picks against the Zips while completing just 16-of-30 passes for 248 yards. He led the team with ten carries for 103 yards with a score.
- Akron QB Kyle Pohl pushed the Michigan secondary around with dinks and dunks, throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He gave up two picks, but he kept making up for his mistakes with good drives.
- The Michigan offensive line wasn’t bad, but Gardner and the backs got dropped too much behind the line. Akron made way too many plays in the backfield.
- When the Wolverines absolutely had to come up with a stop on the final play, the defense brought the heat. It was just enough to make Pohl rush his throw and misfire

at Akron 35, James Madison 33, Sept. 7
Basically … Akron held on as James Madison scored with just over five minutes to play to pull within two, but couldn’t click on the two point conversion. JMU had one final shot, getting down deep in Akron territory, but time ran out before the field goal team could come on. Nick Hirschman and Kyle Pohl each threw two touchdown passes for the Zips, with Zach D’Orazio catching a score from each. Hirschman also ran for a score.
- Pohl was fine, but Hirschman does more for the attack. Neither one runs, but Hirschman was able to come up with the bigger pass plays and Pohl threw a pick. Each one will continue to get a shot.
- Jawan Chisholm ran well, but the Zips got away from him. He tore off a 55-yard dash, and while he was bottled up several times, he needs to get at least 20 carries a game. He ran 11 times for 87 yards.
- The Zips only had the ball for 21:40, but it was able to convert on third downs. The offense just couldn’t grind out the clock with its quick style.

at UCF 38, Akron 7, Aug. 29
Basically … Blake Bortles connected with Breshad Perriman for a 91-yard touchdown less than a minute into the game, and UCF had no problems from there scoring the first 38 points of the game. Bortles finished with three touchdown passes and Storm Johnson ran for two third quarter touchdowns. The UCF defense lost its shutout with 42 seconds to play on an 11-yard Imani Davis catch.
- Blake Bortles took target practice. Storm Johnson might have handle the ground game with 99 yards and two scores, but it was Bortles who handled the offense well and spread the ball around well.
- Akron simply couldn’t convert drives into points. Kyle Pohl was able to connect on 16-of-21 passes, but there wasn’t any pop or explosion to the attack.
- Akron was able to get into the backfield, but the pressure didn’t do enough to shake Bortles. The secondary didn’t come up with enough big plays, but Bortles also came up with a great game.
- UCF linebacker Terrance Plummer was a one man wrecking crew. He came up with ten tackles and three tackles for loss, always getting around the ball.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited ... The Zips welcome back 15 starters including running back Jawon Chisolm and most of the top receivers from an attack that led the MAC in passing averaging 313 yards per game. Terry Bowden is now firmly entrenched after getting through his first year at the helm and has a rising team with plenty of young depth and options. There will be plenty of big battles throughout spring ball, especially at quarterback, but the competition across the board should be solid.

Why To Be Grouchy ... Quarterback Dalton Williams will be missed. He was the one positive in an ugly season, and while he wasn’t efficient, he bombed away and did a decent job of keeping pace with the defense giving up yards and points in chunks. The defense that was among the worst in America against the run has to improve despite the loss of linebackers Kurt Mangum and Troy Gilmer, while the right side of the offensive line, a relative positive last year, needs replacements after losing tackle Adam Bice and guard Mitch Straight.

What Needs Working On ... The defense has to tighten up and come up with more key plays. Stunningly, for a defense so bad, coming up with third down stops wasn’t much of a problem, but there were almost no game-changing moments with a mere five interceptions and just three recovered fumbles over the final eight games. The offense will still be a work in progress, but to start improving on the 1-11 record the secondary that got torched on too many big plays has to give quarterbacks something to worry about.

Non-Conference Games: at UCF, James Madison, at Michigan, Louisiana
Games Against The West: Ball State, at Northern Illinois, Toledo
Realistic Best Case Record: 4-8
Worst Case Record: 0-12
Likely Finish: 1-11

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: James Madison

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at UCF, at Michigan, Louisiana, at Bowling Green, Ohio, at Northern Illinois, at Miami Univ., Ball State, Kent State, at UMass, Toledo

Schedule Analysis: Even though the Zips should be better, the record might not reflect it with no sure wins. James Madison won’t be a typical FCS layup, and the easiest FBS game against UMass is on the road. However, the game against the Minutemen comes in November with two weeks to prepare. Five of the first seven games are on the road including dates at USC, Michigan, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois that could all get extremely ugly. Three of the last four games are at home, but Ball State, Kent State and Toledo will be strong.

Team Concerns For 2013: Terry Bowden has to get more from a defensive front that was awful against the run and didn't get enough production into the backfield. It all ended up trickling down the defense with the secondary giving up way too many big plays, partly because quarterbacks got all day to work. The kickoff return game was the worst in the nation, while the running game fizzled averaging just 114 yards per game.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebackers. The secondary is getting several pieces including corner Mykel Traylor-Bennett and JUCO transfer Donte Williams, and quarterback Tommy Woodson and receiver Austin Wolf will end up making an impact down the road, but best position is linebacker with local products Jerome Lane and Deontae Moore eventual starters, and JUCO transfer Jon Shelby bringing some instant depth.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 105. That Class Was Heavy On ... New head coach Terry Bowden has to find as much help for the offense as possible … now. Last year’s class brought in plenty of receivers, but the line has to be night-and-day better. This class will upgrade the front five, while going after a few backs to improve a woeful running game is a must. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 107. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill Players. Rob Ianello’s anemic offense needs more pop, and while it’s asking a lot to get it right away from a recruiting class, at least one running back should emerge from the fray. Bre Ford and Karell Bostick will get every opportunity early on. The receiving corps gets more help with smallish speedsters. JUCO transfer center Vinnie Rizzo could see time immediately.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 98. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players, skill players, skill players. The Zips loaded up on wide receivers last year and brought even more in this season. For a team that struggled so much offensively, there's reason to get excited with QB Patrick Nicely, last year's big recruit, getting weapons to work with highlighted by RB Erick Howard, who's better than anyone the team had last year. Even more receivers were brought in with Keith Sconiers, Anthony Schrock, and Mike Bizzarro all with size and all physical.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 111. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. The immediate help is at cornerback, but the bulk is at receiver. There aren’t any five-star, sure-thing prospects, but there are a lot of them with various types and sizes. New QB Patrick Nicely, a passer, will have targets to work with once he becomes part of the mix in three years.


 

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