Zips try to avoid letdown

“The University of Akron football team will begin its 68th and final season at the Rubber Bowl when it hosts the Ball State Cardinals Saturday. The Zips (1-1) enter their Mid-American Conference opener coming off the team’s second win over a Bowl Championship Series team in school history, defeating Syracuse 42-28 last week.”

The University of Akron football team will begin its 68th and final season at the Rubber Bowl when it hosts the Ball State Cardinals Saturday.

The Zips (1-1) enter their Mid-American Conference opener coming off the team’s second win over a Bowl Championship Series team in school history, defeating Syracuse 42-28 last week.

UA will look to carry that momentum over to its contest with BSU, which travels to Akron undefeated. The Cardinals have defended Scheumann Stadium the past two weeks, posting convincing home victories against Northeastern (48-14) and Navy (35-23) to open the season.

Fifth-year head coach J.D. Brookhart said the way the Zips respond to last week’s win will determine the impact the milestone victory will have in the home-opener.

If we handle it the right way, it was good improvement, but obviously, we have a long way to go, Brookhart during his weekly news conference Sept. 8. We should gain some confidence in some of the things we did. But, if we are satisfied with what we did, it will be a step backwards

The 20th all-time meeting between BSU and UA is likely to see plenty of offense, as both teams possess strong offenses.

Ball State, which is expected to battle Central Michigan for supremacy in the MAC West this season, is led by junior quarterback Nate Davis and senior wide receiver Dante Love.

Davis completed 21-of-28 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns against Navy. Through the first two weeks of the season, he ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Love was named the MAC West Division’s Offensive Player of the Week for scoring three touchdowns and tallying 336 all-purposes yards in the win. BSU’s offensive line is one of only 10 teams to not have allowed a sack through the season’s first two games.

Brookhart said during the news conference the coaches were still devising a game plan to limit the Cardinals’ dangerous offense.

We have to play smart, physical football, he said. It will be one of the tougher challenges we face this season.

Meanwhile, sixth-year BSU head coach Brady Hoke and his staff are preparing a defensive scheme to disrupt Zips’ signal caller, Chris Jacquemain.

The redshirt junior was named the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Syracuse. Jacquemain completed 20-of-26 passes for 260 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

He has improved from a year ago and does a good job with the ball in his hands, Hoke said during his news conference Sept. 8. I think he is the key to their offense. Obviously, when a guy has the ball in his hands every down, he’s pretty special.

Kickoff at the Rubber Bowl between the two cross-divisional opponents is set for 1 p.m.