Zips look to rebound against Chippewas


Kayla Brown

Conor Hundley (4) running with the ball

With the bye week behind it, The University of Akron’s football team looks to be at its best this Saturday at 2 p.m. against Central Michigan University at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field.

With the remaining schedule Akron has, and because it is sitting at 3-4 overall (1-2 in Mid-American Conference), the Zips control their own destiny for a possible bowl game to end the year.

The Zips’ two losses within the conference come at the hands of the only two teams in the East Division with winning records (Bowling Green State University and Ohio University). And their two non-conference losses are to teams that are currently ranked in the latest AP poll (Oklahoma No. 14 and Pittsburgh No. 23)

Four of the five teams left on the Zips’ schedule have losing records on the season. The two remaining road game teams, Massachusetts and Miami of Ohio, have a combined record of 2-13. But first, the Zips must take care of Central Michigan University.

Of the remaining games, the Chippewas come to Akron as the team with the best record at 4-4 overall (3-1 MAC).

Just as Akron has faced some tough competition, so has Central Michigan. The Chippewas have losses to Oklahoma State (now ranked No. 12), Syracuse, and Michigan State (ranked No. 2 at the time) this season.

Akron’s defense will be tested in the contest. The defense comes into the game ranked 38th in the nation—only allowing 357.9 yards—and will be facing the Chippewas’ passing offense that averages 305 yards a game to rank at No. 20.

Dylan Evans (63 tackles) and Jatavis Brown (60 tackles and 6.5 sacks) will have to be at the top of their game, along with DeAndre Scott (4 interceptions) for the defense to be successful.

For Central Michigan, quarterback Cooper Rush is 208-of-298 for 2,400 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Jesse Kroll is the top receiver with 41 catches for 550 yards and four touchdowns.

On the Zips’ offence, Thomas Woodson leads with 70-of-138 for 989 yards and eight touchdowns. Imani Davis, with 22 catches for 294 yards and two touchdowns; and Jerome Lane, with 16 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns, are Woodson’s favorite targets.

Conor Hundley is the team’s leading rusher with 543 yards and six touchdowns on 101 carries.

This 2015 season marks the 10th Anniversary of the Zips’ 2005 Mid-American Conference championship and the trip to the Motor City Bowl. While the loss to BGSU two weeks ago dashed any hopes of returning to the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, winning four of the next five games and finishing the season at 7-5 should give the Zips their first bowl bid since that magical season ten years ago.