Zips defensive struggles continue in big loss to Toledo

By Joshua Glaze, [email protected]

The University of Akron football team took its second consecutive conference loss Wednesday to the Toledo Rockets, 48-17, at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field in Akron. The Zips fell to 3-3 in conference play with an overall record of 5-5 on the season.

The Zips offense made big plays, but failed to consistently drive down the field and score points. Starting quarterback Thomas Woodson completed 17 of 33 passes for 338 yards to go along with two touchdowns and one interception. Woodson was able to find success early, connecting to Jerome Lane on the Zips’ first offensive play of the game for a 91-yard touchdown. The offense failed to keep up that pace.

Akron had a decent rushing attack led by Denzel Jones Jr., running for 72 yards on just 12 attempts. Van Edwards Jr. helped carry the load, but could not match Jones’ success with eight carries for only 23 yards.

The Zips’ leading receiver Lane had a tremendous game with 177 yards on only six receptions. Lane has emerged as the Zips big play threat through the air with his combination of size and speed. Senior wide receiver JoJo Natson was also able to find the end-zone, giving him his tenth receiving touchdown of the season. Natson finished with 3 receptions for 44 yards.

The Zips defense was dominated again, giving up 622 total yards to the Rockets.

Akron could not keep the Rockets offense off the field, as it went 11-16 on third-down conversions while controlling the ball for 35 minutes. The Zips failed to force a turnover or even register a single sack. Sophomore linebacker Brian Bell and cornerback Alvin Smith both led Akron in tackles with 11 each.

Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside had an outstanding game, passing for 327 yards and three  touchdowns while completing over 70 percent of his throws. Woodside did a great job distributing the ball, passing to ten different players on the night. While many of the Rockets’ receivers had opportunities, Cody Thompson was able to lead them in receptions and yards with five catches for 70 yards.

Toledo’s senior star tailback Kareem Hunt had an impressive night, rushing for 136 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Hunt was able exploit the defense, averaging eight yards per carry. Junior Terry Swinson also saw time in the backfield, adding 67 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback Trevon Mathis led Toledo with six tackles, while Delando Johnson and Connery Swift were both able to force turnovers with interceptions.

The Zips will try to snap their two-game losing streak on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. when they take on Bowling Green at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field in Akron.