The University of Akron football team dominated the Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday afternoon, 65-38, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, West Virginia. It was the first time the Zips have scored more than 60 points in a game since 2012.
The Zips had success in all three phases of the game, scoring on offense, defense, and special teams. Thomas Woodson had an efficient game, airing it out for 379 yards to go along with four touchdowns.
The rushing attack did not skip a beat without starter Warren Ball, who was sidelined with an injury. Junior Manny Morgan stepped in, rushing for 130 yards while averaging a blistering 7.9 yards per carry.
Jerome Lane and Jojo Natson each hauled in seven receptions, eclipsing over 100 yards apiece. Natson was able to find the end zone for the third consecutive game, giving him five touchdowns on the year. Natson’s excellent game also earned him MAC Offensive Player of the Week, after he earned MAC Special Teams Player of the Week last week.
The Zips also scored on rushing touchdowns from quarterbacks Woodson and Tra’von Chapman. Austin Wolf, Kwadarrius Smith, and Mykel Traylor-Bennett each caught touchdown passes in addition to Natson.
Akron got off to a slow start. They trailed 21-7 at the end of the first quarter, but they took a lead in the second quarter by scoring 34 consecutive points and never looked back. In the quarter, Ulysees Gilbert III returned a blocked punt for a 30-yard touchdown, giving the Zips their second special teams touchdown of the year.
The Zips did not waste any time scoring on offense, their longest drive lasting only nine plays. Akron was able to outscore Marshall by 25 points despite only having possession of the ball for 23 minutes.
Marshall was able to outgain Akron with 560 yards of total offense, but it was the Zips ball-hawking defense that was able to offset the Thundering Herd, forcing three interceptions and a fumble. Zach Guiser, DeMarcus Lloyd, and Kyron Brown each intercepted Chase Litton passes. Lloyd returned his interception all the way to the end zone for the final Zips’ score with 2:45 remaining in the game.
Deon’Tae Moore forced a fumble on a sack that was picked up by Daumantas Venckus, who returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Freshman Davon’Te Jest also picked up a sack for the Zips. It was the first career sack for each player.
The University of Akron will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers Saturday, Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m.. This will be its last game before opening up MAC play at Kent State on Oct. 1.