More than a special game Thursday

“A primetime battle on national TV to determine the top team in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division is set for Thursday. The University of Akron football team will also recognize its seniors before facing Buffalo in the Zips’ final home game this season.”

A primetime battle on national TV to determine the top team in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division is set for Thursday.

The University of Akron football team will also recognize its seniors before facing Buffalo in the Zips’ final home game this season.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention one thing: it will also be the final game to be played in the Rubber Bowl – a venue that’s been an iconic structure in Akron during its 68-year-existance.

To say the tilt between the co-leaders of the MAC East will be special is an understatement.

Those sitting on the stadium’s fiberglass bleachers when the game’s final play is run late Thursday night will be witnesses to history.

A win would make the night that much more exciting, but regardless of the outcome, those in attendance will remember the emotional night for a long time.

When UA head coach J.D. Brookhart was asked about his expectations for the historic game, he reflected back on the emotions he felt when he witnessed the closing of Pitt Stadium as a member of the University of Pittsburgh coaching staff.

It’s one of the few times I’ve had a tear in my eye, Brookhart said, reflecting back to Nov. 21, 1999, when the Panthers closed their on-campus stadium with a 37-27 upset of Notre Dame

No matter how remote the possibility seemed as the Zips entered this season picked to finish at or near the bottom of the conference by most pundits, UA has the opportunity to record a win of similar magnitude in the Rubber Bowl’s swansong.

Brookhart said he’s hoping for a special night.

Hopefully, we have a great atmosphere, a lot of fans, and send this stadium off the way we should send it off, Brookhart said. Obviously, that would be a great win for the program.

A win would continue what’s shaping up to be a storybook season for the Zips and would write a fitting final chapter for the Rubber Bowl.