By: D.J. Johnson
The Akron and Central Michigan football teams have a combined three wins on the season. The two teams will meet Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.
The Zips (1-6, 0-3 MAC) will host the Chippewas (2-6, 1-3 MAC) as both teams look to end three-game skids and pick up their first win in nearly a month.
“I know they are desperate for a win and so are we,” said Central Michigan Head Coach Dan Enos.
Akron is coming off a 37-20 loss to Ohio last weekend, giving up 556 yards of total offense. Central Michigan’s 569 yards and a 17-3 halftime lead was not enough to pick up a win at Ball State (31-27).
“It’s going to be a game we’re going to have to play well,” said Akron Head Coach Rob Ianello. “If we play better than we did last week it will be a four-quarter game.”
The Chippewas picked up their two victories in a 21-6 win over South Carolina State in week one and a shootout win (48-41) over Northern Illinois in week five.
Central Michigan is led by the Mid-American Conference’s top passing offense (273.5 yards per game). Quarterback Ryan Radcliff has tossed 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 57.7 percent of his passes.
“Our woes as a football team do not have to do with Ryan Radcliff,” Enos said. “He’s been much more consistent here the last few weeks.”
CMU’s running game is led by senior Paris Cotton, who has only 49 carries on the year but has compiled 322 yards (6.6 yards per carry).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chippewas rank 10th out of 13 MAC teams in total defense and 12th in the scoring defense.
The only team worse in that department is the Zips. Akron also ranks one slot behind CMU in total defense, as well as last in interceptions.
The bright spot in UA’s defense has been linebacker Brian Wagner. The junior linebacker leads the conference in tackles with 98.
The Zips offense has not consistently helped out the defensive unit, ranking 12th in the MAC in scoring offense (16.1 points per game).
Quarterback Clayton Moore is coming off a 13-of-26 passing performance, throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown. The first-year Zip also ran for 48 yards on nine carries.
UA failed to get much of a running game going as starting running back Jawon Chisholm matched Moore, running for 48 yards on 21 carries.
Akron will return two key components to an offensive line unit that has struggled all season. Adam Bice and Zac Kasparek are expected to play Saturday in hopes of providing a more consistent rotation in the front five.
The Chippewas struggled playing 10 true freshmen last week at Ball State.
Central Michigan leads the all-time series 13-9-1, as they have won the last four matchups.
The teams will kick off 12 p.m. on Saturday.