With the leaves falling and the Homecoming Court ready to take center stage, The University of Akron will host Ohio University on Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.
Coming into the game, the Zips have an overall record of 1-4, 0-1 in the MAC, while the Ohio Bobcats have a 3-1 record, 0-0 in the MAC.
The Bobcats come into the game with the fifth best MAC offense, according to mac-sports.com, and the No. 99 ranked NCAA offense, according to NCAA’s website, with 386 yards per game through their first four games.
They are led by senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton. According to the Bobcats’ website, he has recorded 858 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. The Ohio receiving game relies on Chase Cochran who has 16 receptions for 273 with one touchdown and Donte Foster, who has 18 receptions for 259 with one touchdown.
Their run game is behind Ryan Boykin and Beau Blankenship who both have 51 carries for 201 and 179 yards respectfully. They each have two touchdowns.
The defense for OU has recorded eight sacks and four interceptions, one of which has gone back for a touchdown. They also have the No. 86 ranked total defense, giving up 423.5 yards per game. Ben Russell is the Bobcats’ leader in both total tackles with 27 and sacks with two.
Akron head coach Terry Bowden said that he feels his team has had letdowns and it needs to allow coaching.
“Now we’ve got to go out there and play four quarters. They have to continue to let us get angry with them and get on them and push and keep their spirits up…” Bowden said.
The Zips are led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Pohl, who for the season has a 60.5 percent completion rate. He has accumulated 1,072 yards.
Pohl, behind his offensive line, has only been sacked three times this season, among the lowest in the country for sacks allowed.
Akron’s top receivers are sophomore Zach D’Orazio and junior L.T. Smith. D’Orazio has caught 18 balls, four of which have been for touchdowns. D’Orazio has an average of 14.2 yards per game and a total of 256 yards for the season, while Smith has had 13 receptions for 255 yards with one touchdown, according to Akron Athletics.
The rushing game has been strong as well. Jawon Chisholm and Conor Hundley are going strong in the back field. Chisholm is averaging four yards a carry and overall recording 227 yards, while Hundley adds 159 yards for an average of 4.4 yards per carry to the mix.
With these names along with others, the Zips have the No. 65 ranked offense in the country and No. 6 ranked offense in the MAC.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Zips have five members of the defense with 20 or more tackles this season. With defensive back Malachi Freeman and safety Anthony Holmes recording 31 tackles each. Other players on the defense to watch out for is C.J. James, who, with 24 tackles and four sacks for the season, is among the top in the NCAA. Nico Capon has three sacks coming into the sixth week of the season.
As a unit the Zips are No. 102 in defense in the NCAA and No. 9 in the MAC, however, they are No. 5 in the MAC in rushing defense.
Brandon Davis, a senior who majors in education, said that he knows that his team is close to breaking through.
“This game should be good. I am seeing a lot of effort from [Akron] and it’s just a matter of [time] before we start winning a few more games within a season.” Davis said.