Zips begin MAC play against Miami (OH)

Written by: D.J. Johnson

Over the past three years, week five of the college football season has been a time of desperation and hopelessness for the Akron football program.

This season, however, the Zips (1-3) may be carried into Mid-American Conference play on the momentum of their nonconference schedule.

“I don’t think there’s anybody we’re going to see that’s going to be better than what we’ve already seen,” said head coach Terry Bowden.

His team will open up conference play against Miami (Ohio, 2-2) Saturday afternoon with newfound optimism. The head coach, much like his players, is highly anticipating a fresh start in the MAC.

“I’ll be nervous, because I want so much for us to get this thing started and to be competitive in this conference,” Bowden said.

Bowden’s nervousness should not be mistaken for a lack of confidence. The Zips trounced Morgan State 66-6 two weeks ago and played Tennessee nip-and-tuck last Saturday.

After four games, the Zips are averaging 36 points per game, in part because of Bowden’s makeover to the offense. A fast-paced, spread offense has allowed the offense to shine.

“We feel like we can move the football and score points,” Bowden said. “We are going to do everything we can to put up numbers.”

The man putting up a lot of those stats has been quarterback Dalton Williams. The fifth-year senior and first-year Zip ranks fifth in the nation in passing yards.

His 201 attempts are the most in the country.

Miami quarterback Zac Dysert will also provide his fair share of plays for the RedHawk offense. The senior has thrown for 897 yards (224.3 per game) and five touchdowns while maintaining his role as one of the RedHawks’ lead rushers.

Bowden and the Zips will try to contain Dysert and start off conference play on the right foot.

“Our goals are out there, the next eight weeks,” Bowden said. “It starts this week.”

The Zips will have to go without Zach D’Orazio over these next eight weeks, as his fibula injury with keep him out for the season.

The defense will also suffer while sophomore linebacker Justin March spends a few weeks recovering from a high ankle sprain.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Infocision Stadium. The game can be watched on