Written by: D.J. Johnson
A new era of Zips football has officially begun.
With spring practice in full effect and the complete 2012 schedule announced last Thursday, new Head Coach Terry Bowden will look to turn around the program.
Coming off back-to-back 1-11 seasons under former head coach Rob Ianello, Bowden and the Zips will attempt to stop that trend starting Aug. 30.
“I’m a newcomer to the MAC Conference,” Bowden said. “I don’t know whether something is as good as it seems or as bad as it seems.”
The Aug. 30 kickoff will take place in InfoCision Stadium, pinning UA up against Central Florida. The game will be Bowden’s first Division I head coaching appearance since 1998.
In week two (Sept. 8), Akron will travel to Miami to take on Florida International. Last season, the Panthers beat the Zips 27-17 on their home field.
Weeks three and four are nearly polar opposites for Bowden and company. Week three (Sept. 15) will bring FCS opponent Morgan State into Akron, as week four (Sept. 22) will have the Zips traveling to take on Tennessee.
“Every team is a little foreign to me. There is some unknown,” Bowden said.
The meat of the season starts in week five, as Miami (Ohio) will come into InfoCision. The MAC opener will be played on Sept. 29.
The matchup will kick off seven straight league games to close out the regular season.
“We won’t do well in this conference if we don’t learn how to play some football by that fifth game,” Bowden said.
Oct. 6 will play as the latter half of back-to-back home games for UA, with Bowling Green the opponent on Homecoming weekend.
The Zips will continue league play traveling to Ohio (Oct. 13), hosting Northern Illinois (Oct. 20) and traveling to take on Central Michigan (Oct. 27) to close out the month of Oct.
The Wagon Wheel Challenge will kick start on Nov. 3 with Akron traveling to Kent in week 10. Last season, the Golden Flashes took the victory 35-3.
Conference newcomer Massachusetts will come to Ohio on Nov. 10.
After a week and a half of rest, the Zips will play a nationally-televised game (ESPN2) at Toledo on Nov. 20. The game will wrap up the regular season for Akron.