5 Players Who Were Instrumental In Akron Zips’ Victory vs. UMASS Minutemen

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5 Players That Were Intrumental In Akron Zips Victory vs. UMASS Minutemen

Akron Zips
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Akron Zips had a week to prepare for their road trip to Gillette Stadium to challenge conference opponent the UMASS Minutemen. The Zips were coming off a Wagon Wheel Trophy victory over their rival Kent State and were looking to win their second consecutive game in a row for the first time since the 2008 season. The Zips were sitting at 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the MAC and wanted to continue their positive momentum in rebuilding their program. The team overcame early struggles and mounted a fourth quarter drive that resulted in the 14-13 victory.

Akron fumbled on its first three possessions of the game, however, led by their defense, held the Minutemen without a point during that stretch. The Zips were able to generate enough offense in the second quarter that allowed them to hold a 7-6 halftime lead.

The second half became a battle as both teams wasted key opportunities that could have resulted in points. Akron defensive coordinator Chuck Amato did an excellent job of play calling, that created field position for Akron and allowed the Zips to take over the football at the start of the fourth quarter. From that point, the Zips were able to use a nine-play 63-yard drive that resulted in the go-ahead touchdown.

Head coach Terry Bowden now has Akron sitting at 4-7 on the season and 3-4 within the conference. Bowden and his staff have done a fantastic job of turning around the mentality at Akron. The team is progressing week to week and has won the most games (4) since the 2008 season, when the Zips finished 5-7.

Akron will have an opportunity to pick up their fifth win of the season when they take on the Toledo Rockets on Nov. 30.

Here are five players who were key to the victory over UMASS on Saturday.

Joseph Lisi is a writer for Rantsports.com, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Running back Conor Hundley

Akron Zips
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Conor Hundley rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries with a 5.2 yards per rush. Hundley batter the defense with his aggressive style of running. He allowed the Zips to control the ball and move the chains late in the fourth quarter to maintain their lead.

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Place kicker Rob Stein

Akron Zips
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Stein converted on both of his extra point attempts and that was the difference as the Zips won 14-13.

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Linebacker Jactavis Brown

Akron Zips
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jactavis Brown was all over the field on Saturday. The sophomore linebacker led the team in tackles with 13 and was instrumental in shutting down the UMASS offensive attack.

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Running back Jawon Chisholm

Akron Zips
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Of the Zips three fumbles on the first three drives, Jawon Chisholm accounted for two of them. However, the junior responded by catching the game winning touchdown pass from Kyle Pohl in the fourth quarter. Chisholm led the team in rushing with 72 yards on 10 carries (7.2 yards average) and caught three passes for 37 yards and one touchdown.

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Quarterback Kyle Pohl

Akron Zips
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Kyle Pohl has become the leader of the Akron offense. The sophomore was poised and collected in leading his team down the field in the fourth quarter. Pohl ran for a first half touchdown that allowed Akron to hold a 7-6 halftime lead. Pohl made solid decisions in the passing game and put his team in a position to win the game. He finished the game connecting on 20-of-33 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions.

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