Season of indecision

“The Zips football team will play the second of three games in a 12-day span when they travel to Doyt Perry Stadium Friday night to face the Bowling Green State University Falcons. The Zips will look to rebound after losing its previous two Mid-American Conference East contests against Temple and at Buffalo.”

The Zips football team will play the second of three games in a 12-day span when they travel to Doyt Perry Stadium Friday night to face the Bowling Green State University Falcons.

The Zips will look to rebound after losing its previous two Mid-American Conference East contests against Temple and at Buffalo.

Friday’s game will mark the 16th meeting between the two schools. The Zips (3-5, 2-2 MAC) defeated BGSU (4-4, 2-2 MAC) 35-28 at the Rubber Bowl last season, behind a career effort from running back Dennis Kennedy. Kennedy rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns.

The redshirt junior running back, who was the team’s starting tailback at the start of the season, is listed third on this week’s depth chart, behind junior Bryan Williams and redshirt sophomore Alex Allen.

Williams has been an offensive catalyst since being inserted as the starter at the beginning of conference play against Kent State, averaging 4.6 yards a carry on 95 attempts. He is also the team’s second-leading receiver with 179 yards on 16 catches.

Much like the Zips, the Falcons enter the game after suffering a disappointing defeat. Bowling Green fell to Ohio University 38-27 at home Saturday.

The MAC East contest will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. All of UA’s remaining games will be played during the week and will air on one of the ESPN family of networks.

Both Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart and Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon discussed the advantages and drawbacks of playing weekday games to accommodate national television coverage during their weekly news conferences with the media Monday.

I think it’s an interesting deal, Brookhart said. Obviously, it helps us from an exposure standpoint. I don’t like it as much now that they’ve coupled it with a 12-game season. A lot of that is to financially support your department, but yet they’re demanding a lot more of us academically.

Brandon agrees with his coaching counterpart Friday.

It’s an adjustment that gets a little difficult at times to manage because of academics, Brandon said. The kids are here to go to school and scheduling these mid-week games, or games that throw the schedule off, makes it tough on the academic side. That would be the only drawback, but it’s a great opportunity to play TV games and get a chance to show off your program.

Brookhart said that he has no input in scheduling conference games and televised contests.

Quarterback play: Tale of two halves

Brookhart acknowledged that Zips redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Jacquemain’s play has been inconsistent in Akron’s recent games.

He is very good in the first half and struggles in the second half, Brookhart said. I don’t have a good reason for it right now. It’s been fairly consistent throughout the year.

When asked if the coaching staff was considering playing backup redshirt sophomore quarterback Carlton Jackson for a series in the team’s upcoming games, like they did earlier this season, Brookhart said Monday that the coaches were still discussing the possibility.

Mackey returns

Zips senior leader and defensive rover John Mackey completed his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he played in a defensive series at Buffalo.

Mackey said that having the opportunity to return as an active member of the team was indescribable.

Just to go practice is unbelievable, Mackey said. To be told you’re done and you’re going to have surgery and all that, to turn around and come back to play – just to put the pads on again – I can’t even explain it. It’s an unbelievable feeling just to have that second chance.

Mackey decided to attempt the comeback after being assured by doctors that playing would not do any further damage to his knee, and learning that the outlook for gaining another year of eligibility through a medical redshirt was bleak.

I went to talk to (assistant athletic director for compliance) Kevin Klotz to double check about the medical (redshirt) and he said it was realistically a long shot, the senior captain said. With that, I was just like, ‘Why not?’ I’d rather take a chance and come back and be with the guys for the last stretch than take a shot on something that probably won’t happen.

Mackey plans to have surgery to repair his ACL at the conclusion of the season.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.


” #1.1361574:282307151.jpg:ksu015.jpg:Jacquemain has struggled in the second half of games this season.:Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”