The Akron Zips have been playing very exciting football over the last three weekends. The Zips pushed the top ranked Michigan Wolverines to the edge before losing in Ann Arbor, lost a barn burner to Louisiana at home, and lost on the road last week to the best defense in the conference in the Bowling Green Falcons.
For the Zips (1-4), the opportunity is now to capitalize on the progress made during the first half of the season when they face the Ohio Bobcats during homecoming weekend.
Head coach Terry Bowden has done a fantastic job this season in preparing the team and making the Zips competitive in each and every ball game. In the last three games, the Zips have either been tied or have led at the half. While the success has not yet equated to victories, the team has the coaching staff to bring it to the next level.
Offensively, the Zips are 53rd in the nation in passing offense (246.8 passing yards per game). Quarterback Kyle Pohl has completed 60.5 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. Pohl is a tough quarterback who is not afraid to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball to a solid group of wide receivers led by Zach D’Orazio.
D’Orazio leads the team with 18 receptions for 256 yards and four touchdowns. The Zips should look to attack a Bobcats defense that is surrendering 280 passing yards per game and 25.3 points per game. The Zips’ offensive line continues to play well and has developed all season in pass protection, giving up four sacks through five games.
The Zips will look to contain Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton on Saturday. Tettleton has completed 64.2 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bobcats are averaging 237.3 passing yards per game, but have struggled to run the football effectively (83rd in the nation with 148 rushing yards per game).
The Zips have been very aggressive in blitz packages, and they have accounted for 14 sacks on the season. Look for the Zips to create pressure on Tettleton come Saturday, which can lead to turnovers. For the season, the Zips have five interceptions on the year. Linebacker Justin March leads the team with three interceptions.
The Zips are on the path to success under Bowden, and it is only a matter of time before the team will see the rewards of their hard work.