Big time dreams in a Big Ten stadium


By Forrest Dukes, Sports Editor

The Zips (1-0), who won their first game against Howard University 41-0, are now preparing for a bigger test in Big Ten foe Penn State (1-0), Saturday, Sept. 6 at noon in Beaver Stadium.

Penn State also won their first game on the road in Dublin, Ireland against The University of Central Florida as a late field goal put PSU ahead 26-24.  The game between UA and PSU is Head Coach James Franklin’s first home game in Beaver Stadium as well.

Penn State:

On offense Penn State has sophomore QB, Christian Hackenberg, who threw for 454 yards going 32 for 47 and one touchdown against UCF. Hackenberg’s favorite receivers during the game were Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton. Lewis caught eight passes, one of which was a touchdown at 173 yards. Hamilton caught 11 passes for 165 yards. The rushing game sits behind two senior running backs Zack Zwinak, who has nearly 2,000 rushing yards within their last two seasons and senior Bill Belton, who averaged 5.1 yards per rush during the 2013 season.

On Defense, the Nittany Lions have Mike Hull, a senior who ranked fifth last year in the Big Ten in tackles per game and had eleven in the game against UCF. Also, junior Anthony Zettel, who recorded 6 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack against UCF. In the backfield senior, Ryan Keiser, a new starter on the defense and ranked eighth on the team in tackles with 38,tied for the lead with three interceptions.


The Zips offense has junior QB, Kyle Pohl, MAC East player of the week, who threw for 304 yards going 22-35 and four touchdowns. For the receiving core, Zach D’Orazio, who averaged 13.5 yards per catch last year and four touchdowns. Also on receiving core, Mykel Traylor-Bennett, receiving four balls for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and senior, L.T. Smith III, who averaged 14.8 yards against the Bisons and caught a touchdown. For rushing the Zips have senior, Jawon Chisholm, a running back who rushed for eight touchdowns and 869 yards in the 2013 season, as well as Connor Hundley, who averaged 5 yards per carries against Howard.

The Zips defense has a line backing core like no other with junior, Jatavis Brown who lead UA with 107 tackles last year. Justin March, senior, came in second recording 80 tackles in 2013 while also catching three interceptions. C.J. Mizell tallied 45 tackles last season and tied his career high against Howard with 10 tackles, eight of which were solo tackles. Another player on the defensive side to watch for is Cody Grice, a junior DL, who has started every game in his collegiate career. Grice finished the 2013 season with 32 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a blocked kick.

A win for the Zips would mean five consecutive games for the first time since 2004, a 2-0 record to start a season since the 1993 season and the first road win to open a season since 1998. Lastly, with a win, The University of Akron’s will gain their first victory against Penn State University in the series history dating back to 1999 where PSU leading 4-0.