UA football hosts Big Ten team for the first time

“The University of Akron football team will host their first ever Big Ten opponent when the Indiana University Hoosiers come to InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field Saturday Sept. 19. The Zips (1-1) come into the game on a high note beating Morgan State University 41-0.”

The University of Akron football team will host their first ever Big Ten opponent when the Indiana University Hoosiers come to InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field Saturday Sept. 19.

The Zips (1-1) come into the game on a high note beating Morgan State University 41-0.

The Hoosiers (2-0) enter week three of the season after disposing of Eastern Kentucky and Western Michigan.

I think they understand the opportunity of a Big Ten opponent coming in here, Zips Head Coach J.D. Brookhart said. We’ve never been able to beat a Big Ten team and now that opportunity is there, we’ve got to play better.

The Zips come into the Indiana game with a streak on their hands.

Akron’s defense has not allowed a score in six straight quarters including the shutout of MSU.

Defensively we got the shutout we deserved, Brookhart said. We had a chance to get one a couple of years ago, but didn’t and those are hard to come by. So that was a huge feat defensively.

UA will have to play better on the offensive line and stop the opposing defense from getting to senior quarterback Chris Jacquemain.

Last time UA played a Big Ten opponent, the offensive line let Jacquemain get sacked three times by the Penn State defense.

I know they’ve got two great defensive ends that were the top tandem sack leaders in the Big Ten last year, Brookhart said. That’ll certainly be a key piece to their success.

This season, the Hoosiers defense has recorded six sacks as a unit. Senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew and senior linebacker Matt Mayberry lead the club with 1.5 sacks each.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Hoosiers are led by quarterback Ben Chappell and running back Demetrius McCray.

Chappell, a junior, has already thrown for 511 yards with 1 touchdown pass and two interceptions while McCray, a senior, has rushed for 183 yards with one touchdown.

The Zips will counter with the dynamic quarterback-wide receiver combination of Jacquemain and Daryn Bowser.

Jacquemain has completed 26 of 44 passes for 320 yards and has thrown four touchdowns on the season.

Bowser, the recipient of all four Jacquemain touchdown passes, leads all Zips wide receivers with 149 yards.

The coaches call the plays and I’m just trying to get open, Bowser said. Jacque’ throws the ball and the rest is history.

The duo made history in the inaugural game at InfoCision Stadium by becoming the first quarterback-wide receiver combination to score a touchdown. The tandem went on to score two more during the game.

Deryn Bowser made some good plays in one-on-one situations, which we had designed when they played man in the backside and Chris Jacquemain made some good throws, Brookhart said.

The Zips will also have to get their running game going. UA is still looking for a 100-yard rusher on the season.

We’ve got to improve, but we’ll run the ball, Brookhart said. For us it will depend on what teams give us. If they take away the run, we’ll throw the ball and if they take away the pass, we’ll try and run ball.

The running game has been a group effort thus far for the Zips, but the most impressive runner has been sophomore quarterback Matt Rodgers. Rodger’s 68 yards rushing leads the club.

We’re going to continue to put him in the first drive of the second quarter and we’ll also play him in the second half as well, Brookhart said. He continues to earn time and he brings a different element.

I think you saw a couple of times how fast he is. He’s operating our offense and has performed well enough to earn some repetitions.

Brookhart said he was happy to get the first win out of the way and believes his team is ready for IU.

These kids, win or lose, get past the (previous) game pretty quick, Brookhart said.

Kickoff for the Indiana game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.