After practicing for 15 days, the Zips finally got to take the field as they showed off a new offense and a new team at the spring game.
Weather conditions were a big factor during Saturday’s University of Akron Zips annual spring football game as a rain-snow mix hit the ground.The spring game, a scrimmage between the offense and the defense showed some positives and negatives in the game. After practicing for 15 days, the Zips finally got to take the field as they showed off a new offense and a new team at the spring game.The final score of the game was the defense over the offense 53-38. Offensive MVP for the spring game was Jeremy LaFrance while Manley Waller received a defensive MVP.I was pleased with our energy today and I was pleased with the competitiveness of the spring game, first year Zips head football coach Rob Ianello said. It was good for our guys to be in this setting, playing before the crowd and going through a pregame routine.The spring game is not a typical game when it comes to scoring points. Offensively, this is how the point system broke down: a first down and extra points are one point each. An explosive play (10 yard run or 15 yard pass) and two point conversions were two points apiece. Field goals stayed the same with three points and touchdowns were six points.Defensively, a forced punt (more than four plays) and missed extra points were worth one point a piece. Missed two points and a sack were two points apiece. Three and out drives and missed field goals were three points apiece. A forced turnover was worth four points and scoring on a turnover was six points.There were a lot of benefits today., Ianello said. Most importantly, we came out healthy. After 15 days (of spring practices), I think we made some progress, but we still have a lot of work to do.Alex Allen got things rolling for the Zips in the first quarter with a 39-yard touchdown run.In the second quarter, quarterback Patrick Nicely threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to LaFrance. Nicely connected with LaFrance again in the fourth quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass.Alex Allen led the Zips in rushing with 57 yards. Nicely led the Zips in passing with 173 yards. LaFrance led the team in receiving with 87 yards and two touchdowns. Weather conditions and a change of offense made Nicely struggle to keep a hold of the football from under center.It is different from the shotgun. We do have some plays from the shotgun, but we are mostly under center, so it takes time to adjust, Nicely said.Weather conditions affected the Zips kicking as well as Branko Rogovic missed a 42-yard attempt.Marvase Byrd, Shawn Lemon and Waller led the Zips in tackles with four a piece. Ryan Cohen had one forced fumble.