By: DJ Johnson
A heavy rain fell on the field of Yager Stadium last Thursday night.
The ensuing game between the Akron and Miami (Ohio) football teams followed a similar pattern as the downpour that continued to soak the field. The Zips (1-8, 0-5 MAC) could not stop the continuous offensive flow of the RedHawks (4-5, 3-2 MAC), who coasted to a 35-3 win.
While Miami’s offense had little trouble scoring, the situation proved to be the polar opposite for the opposing sideline. With four first-half touchdowns, the RedHawks took complete control of the game as the Zips failed to tack on points until 4:12 mark in the fourth quarter.
While Miami’s Zac Dysert completed 12 of 19 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, Akron quarterbacks Patrick Nicely and Clayton Moore combined to go 7-of-32 for 90 yards and an interception.
The RedHawks got on the board first with Dysert, who took it for six from a yard out with 6:17 left in the first quarter. Dysert returned to his arm with 58 seconds left in the first, hooking up with wideout Andy Cruse on 22-yard pass.
MU running back Justin Semmes kept the onslaught going with 6:57 left in the second quarter, completing a 13-play 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Miami added to the lead just over a minute later as Dysert found wide receiver Nick Harwell on the only play of the drive for a 52-yard touchdown pass. Miami took the 28-0 lead into the half.
A scoreless third quarter was followed by a two-yard run by Semmes for a RedHawks score on the first play of the fourth.
The sophomore finished with a perfect 100 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns.
The Zips’ only score came via kicker A.J. Fox’s leg, who knocked in the final score of the game from 24 yards out.
A game featuring 15 punts saw the Zips gain just 201 yards of total offense, compared to Miami’s 383.
Leading the offensive attack for UA was running back Jawon Chisholm, who ran 66 yards on 20 carries.
Two of the team’s top three receivers, Keith Sconiers and A.J. Price, left the game in the second quarter due to injury. Another wideout, Jerrod Dillard, as well as defensive tackle Dan Marcoux and offensive tackle Mitch Straight, were also knocked out of the game because of injury.
Defensively, the Zips were once again led by linebacker Brian Wagner. The junior recorded 10 tackles on the night.
With the loss, Akron has now lost their last five games and sit at 0-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips remain the only winless team in the conference.
The Zips will get a shot at their first conference win this week as they host Kent State (2-3, 3-6 MAC) Saturday at 2 p.m. With the Wagon Wheel up for grabs, the game will be the last home contest for Akron this season.