When last we saw the Akron Zips, they gave the Penn State Nittany Lions all they could handle on the road before falling in the fourth quarter, 21-3, to end an Akron four-game winning streak dating back to last season.
After a week off, the Blue and Gold return to action with a matchup against the Marshall Thundering Herd at InfoCision Stadium. The visitors from West Virginia are off to an emphatic 3-0 start that includes victories over Mid-American Conference foes Miami and Ohio University.
LAST TIME OUT: UA last played September 6 at Penn State, losing 21-3. For three quarters, Akron stood toe-to-toe with its Big Ten Conference opponent before the Nittany Lions dominated in the fourth quarter and came away with the victory before 97,334 fans in Beaver Stadium.
The Zips forced three Penn State turnovers but only converted on one -- that being a 28-yard field goal from Robert Stein in the third quarter…QB Kyle Pohl completed 243-of-46 passes for 208 yards…RB Jawon Chisholm had 30 yards on seven carries..WR Zach D’Orazio and Franshon Bickley had five receptions each (61 and 45 yards, respectively)…Defensively, Devonte Morgan and Kris Givens each had seven total tackles..Martel Durant & Bre Ford had one interception each
ON THE YEAR: Kyle Pohl has completed 57 percent of his passes (47-of-82) for 516 yards with four touchdowns (all coming in the season opening win over Howard) and no interceptions…Pohl also leads the running game with 56 yards on 17 carries…Jawon Chisholm has 50 total yards in the first two games and has moved into sixth place on the all-trme rushing list with 2,834 yards…Zach D’ Orazio leads the receivers with nine receptions (98 yards) while Mykel Traylor-Bennett leads in receiving yards with 111 along with two touchdowns…C,J. Mizell leads the defense with 13 total tackles (8 solo)
OVERVIEW: UA opened the 2014 season with a 41-0 shutout of Howard at home -- its second shutout since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1987 and first shutout in a season opener since 1986 when Akron blanked Salem College 35-0 at the Rubber Bowl. The Zips amassed 513 yards of total offense while holding the Bison to just 216…
At Penn State, the Zips moved the ball on their first possession reaching the PSU 11 but failed to get any points. It would come back to haunt them as they played with the Nittany Lions on even terms for three quarters before the home team pulled away in the fourth quarter…UA begins a stretch of three games out of four at home -- the lone road tilt coming on September 27th when Akron travels to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers out of the ACC before returning for the MAC opener against Eastern Michigan
NOTES & QUOTES: UA is prominent among the NCAA statistics this week as punter Zach Paul ranks 12th in the FBS with a 46.5 avg. per punt…LB C.J. Mizell and DE Alphonso Horner are tied for 14th with one recovered fumble each…as a team UA is first in turnovers lost at 0 (they have not turned the ball over in the first two games of 2014)…first in red zone defense (1/4 .250), first in turnover margin at plus-four, and sixth in scoring defense at 10.5 points per game…Zips head coach Terry Bowden and Marshall head man Doc Holliday were teammates at West Virginia in the 1970’s…Holliday was associate head coach at North Carolina State under current Zips defensive coordinator Chuck Amato..Marshall is the second school from Conference USA to play in InfoCision Stadium. The other was Florida International in 2011 (27-17 loss)
THE SERIES: The game is the 13th meeting between the two schools, with Marshall holding an 8-4 overall advantage…seventh lifetime game in Akron (first at InfoCision Stadium) with the Zips holding a 4-2 edge…Their last meeting was in 2004at the Rubber Bowl a 31-28 Zips victory. The hosts scored 17 points in the final period, with the winning points coming off the toe of Jason Swiger -- a 43-yard field goal as time expired. QB Charlie Frye passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns he also had a 31-yard touchdown run in the first quarter . WR Dominik Hixon had 13 receptions for 192 yards and score. QB Stan Hill led the Herd, completing 37-of-53 passes for 439 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. WR Josh Davis and Brad Bates each went over 100 yards receiving (Davis 15-197 & Bates 11-114)
MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD (3-0)
LAST TIME OUT: September 13, defeating Ohio University 44-14 in Huntington. MU opened a 17-0 lead after the first quarter and ballooned to 41-0 before the Bobcats scored in the third quarter. QB Rakeem Cato completed 17-of-29 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns. Two of them went to Davonte Allen, who had five receptions for 137 yards while Angelo Jean-Louis had four catches for 258 yards, RB Steward Butler rushed for 118 on the afternoon MU had 705 yards of total offense, the second consecutive game the offense had 700 or more yards. With the victory, Marshall ended a three-game losing streak to the Bobcats in the ‘Battle of the Bell” series and is now 3-0 for the first time since 1999
ON THE YEAR: Cato has completed 57.8 percent of his passes (52-of-90) for 953 yards with nine touchdowns and just one interception…RB Devon Johnson leads the running game with 379 yards and four touchdowns…Devonte Allen leads the receivers with 13 catches for 305 yards and two scores while WR Tommy Shuler has 11 receptions for 184 yards and three touchdowns…CB Darryl Roberts and FS Tiquan Lang led the defense with 22 total tackles (each have 12 solo stops)
OVERVIEW: Marshall came back to prominence last season as they went 10-3 with a trip to the Conference USA Championship Game. The Herd then defeated Maryland in the Military Bowl in Washington D.C….They came into the 2014 campaign favored to win the Eastern Division of C-USA.
They have come out like gangbusters, opening the season in Oxford with a 42-27 win over Miami. Marshall gained 432 yards of total offense (their lowest of the season so far). Upon return home to Huntington, Cato and crew totally routed Rhode Island 48-7 with 724 yards of offense. Cato passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 143 more yards, including a 63-yard touchdown.
Last week they ended a three-game losing streak to nearby rival Ohio with a 44-14 rout scoring the first 41 points of the game…The game with UA is the Herd’s third and final MAC opponent this season…After a week off, they open C-USA play on October 4th at Old Dominion in the Hampton Roads of Virginia.
NOTES AND QUOTES: The Herd brought back 14 starters from a season ago (six on offense and eight on defense)…Rakeem Cato has thrown a touchdown pass in 35 consecutive games the longest such streak for a quarterback in the FBS…He had 425 yards passing against Ohio, marking the fifth time in his career he has surpassed 400 yards in a game…MU’s 705 total yards against the Bobcats was the fifth most in school history…Marshall leads Conference USA in total offense (620 yards per game) and scoring defense (16.0)…The Herd garnered votes in both National Polls