The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Football team ready for Minutemen Saturday

Written by: D.J. Johnson

For Terry Bowden and the Akron Zips, getting a second win this season will require an inspired second-half performance.

Sitting at 1-9 and winless in the Mid-American Conference, Akron has been tied at halftime in five of their 10 games. They will look to piece together a complete game on Saturday  against Massachusetts.

“Now we just got to finish,” Bowden said.

The UMass Minutemen (0-9, 0-5 MAC) have felt many of the same pains as the Zips. Still winless and sitting at the bottom of the MAC East, it has been a tough transition for UMass from the FCS to the more competitive FBS.

“This team has had the same problems we’ve had,” Bowden said. “Their schedule has been impossible for them.”

The Zips have dropped seven straight games, including last week’s 35-24 loss to rival Kent State. The Minutemen are coming off their worst loss of the season, a 63-0 blowout at Northern Illinois.

UMass is still in search of its first ever MAC victory. The Zips have not had a conference victory since 2010.

By Saturday night, one team will remember the joys of winning.

“We said between two and 12 (wins) would be an improvement,” Bowden said. “(Our players) want to win this one. It means a lot to them.”

A win for the Zips may require a healthy dose of quarterback Dalton Williams and running back in Jawon Chisholm.

The two jump-started Akron’s offense a week ago, as two touchdown passes by Williams and a 50-yard touchdown run by Chisholm gave the Zips a 24-14 lead at the half.

After halftime was a different story. Kent controlled both sides of the ball en route to a 21-0 second half.

Finding their stride offensively in all four quarters may just give the Zips that all-important second victory.

UMass has been struggling to keep opposing offenses off the field and, more importantly, out of the end zone.

The Minutemen have given up over 44 points per game and have surpassed 16 points only once this season.

They did find some success in the middle of the season, competing with a couple of the MAC’s best in Ohio and Miami and finding themselves within striking distance in the fourth quarter.

Saturday’s game may be a matter of which team is better in the final 15 minutes.

The final game at InfoCision Stadium for the 2012 season will also be senior day. For a class that has gone through three different head coaches and many losses in their four years, their current head coach recognizes the progress they have made.

“(The seniors) have proved to me, in so many ways, that they are winners,” Bowden said.

Saturday may prove that further.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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