By: D.J. Johnson
Saturday afternoon ended in all too familiar fashion for The University of Akron football team, which fell 37-20 to Ohio University.
Losing has become a consistent theme on the Zips‘ sideline, as Rob Ianello and company have now dropped 17 of their last 19 games.
“Certainly they were a lot better team than us today,” said the second-year head coach. “[Ohio] dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage.”
Akron (1-6, 0-3 MAC) forced three turnovers on the afternoon, but failed to consistently stop the offensive attack of Ohio (5-3, 2-2 MAC), who compiled 556 yards for the game. The Zips put up 249 yards on the day but only 81 rushing yards.
“It’s hard to win when you can’t run it, and they move the ball up and down the field,” Ianello said. “We could never get anything going consistently on offense today.”
UA kept the game close early, as the defense halted an 11-play, 72-yard Ohio drive, resulting in a field goal for the Bobcats. The first quarter would end in a 3-0 advantage for OU.
A 43-yard field goal by Akron kicker A.J. Fox knotted the game up at three with 10:02 left in the second quarter.
Ohio came back with a 78-yard touchdown pass as quarterback Tyler Tettleton hit Lavon Brazill with 6:17 left in the half. The Bobcats knocked in a field goal to make the halftime score 13-3.
OU scored on their first drive of the second half as Tettleton hooked up with wide out Riley Dunlop for the score.
After an Ohio field goal, Akron defensive tackle Nico Caponi recovered a fumble and took it back to the Ohio four-yard line. Quarterback Clayton Moore found Keith Sconiers four plays later for a touchdown to make the score 23-10 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
Ohio answered right back, sandwiching two touchdowns in between an Akron field goal to stretch the lead to 37-13.
Zips’ backup quarterback Patrick Nicely found junior Marquelo Suel for the last score of the game, ending in the 37-20 loss.
“Clearly, I’m disappointed in today,” Ianello said. “[Ohio] was the toughest team on the field.”
Highlighting the Bobcats’ big day was Tettleton, who completed 21 of 29 passes for 328 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
For the Zips, Moore finished the day completing 13 of 26 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
“I think our quarterback played his butt off,” Ianello said. “I think he’s passionate, competitive and improving, but he is also getting hit quite a bit.”
Moore was also the Zips’ co-leading rusher with 48 yards on nine carries, as running back Jawon Chisholm amassed the same number on 21 carries.
Anchoring the defense was linebacker Brian Wagner, who recorded 17 tackles for the game. Wagner entered the day second in the nation in tackles.
The Zips will play at home for the second straight week this Saturday when Central Michigan visits InfoCision Stadium. The game is set for 12 p.m.