“Going into Saturday’s game against Mid-American Conference East Division leader Buffalo, University of Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart talked about the Zips football team needing to limit the effectiveness of Bulls’ redshirt sophomore running back James Starks.””
Going into Saturday’s game against Mid-American Conference East Division leader Buffalo, University of Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart talked about the Zips football team needing to limit the effectiveness of Bulls’ redshirt sophomore running back James Starks.
The Zips held Starks to 91 yards on 24 carries, but squandered several scoring opportunities in a 26-10 loss at UB Stadium.
The score remained close throughout the majority of the game, but the Zips’ failure to capitalize when inside the 20-yard line made the difference. The Zips were 2-5 on scoring opportunities inside the 20-yard line, while the Bulls converted all five of their red zone scoring opportunities.
We had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of, Brookhart said. There are six to eight plays every game that change the course of it. They made those plays (and) we did not take advantage of them.
Akron (3-5, 2-2 MAC) amassed 327 yards compared to Buffalo’s (4-5, 4-1 MAC) 280.
The Zips used a well-balanced offensive attack to drive 80 yards on 13 plays in wind gusts up to 30 mph to score a touchdown on a 1-yard run by redshirt sophomore Alex Allen.
Buffalo would answer with two consecutive touchdown drives of their own to take a 13-7 lead on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Drew Willy to wide receiver Ernest Jackson and a 9-yard touchdown pass from Willy to receiver Naam Roosevelt.
After its second score, Buffalo would not relinquish the lead. Igor Ivelijic converted a 26-yard field at the end of the first half to cut the Bulls’ lead to 13-10, but Buffalo scored 13 unanswered points in the second half to secure the victory.
The Bulls held Jabari Arthur, the Zips’ go-to receiver, to three catches for 39 yards.
Brookhart said that the Bulls’ game plan was effective at stopping Arthur, but emphasized that the Zips were productive, but did not execute at critical moments in the game.
I thought Buffalo played an efficient game, he said. They did some things defensively, working safeties and backers to take Jabari away, but in the end, more games are lost.
We missed our opportunities.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Jacquemain said the team’s inability to finish drives was frustrating.
It was very frustrating, knowing that we could move the ball, but we couldn’t, Jacquemain said. They were bringing four guys at a time, and we didn’t execute.
We could have done better. We didn’t find a way to get him (Arthur) the ball.
Zips’ junior starting running back Bryan Williams rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries. Williams was also the team’s leading receiver, catching five passes for 49 yards. Jacquemain completed 19-37 passes for 185 yards and two interceptions.
Akron will continue MAC East play Friday night at Bowling Green. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPNU.
“” #1.1361596:4265443904.jpg:BryanWilliamsvsKent.jpg:Bryan Williams led the team in rushing and receiving Saturday.:Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”