In their final home game of the season, the Akron Zips opened an early lead and never looked back as they defeated the Minutemen of Massachusetts, 30-6, to end a four-game losing streak. The victory equaled Akron's total for all of last season and also matched the most home wins since 2006.
The Zips will be seeking win number six this week at Kent State, where the two teams will battle for the Wagon Wheel Trophy. Six victories would be the most Akron football wins since 2005 and make UA bowl eligible
One oddity to this year's matchup is that while Akron will be playing for the first time in 10 days, Kent State last played Nov. 12. It's Nov. 19 game at Buffalo was cancelled due to the massive snow storm that burried the area at that time.In any case, with just one win to their credit, the well-rested Flashes will be trying to play spoiler while trying to win back the Wagon Wheel trophy that went to Akron last year.
LAST TIME OUT:
November 18, defeating Massachusetts 30-6 at InfoCision Stadium to end their four-game losing streak. It was 18 degrees and a touch of snow at game time as the Zips took advantage on both sides of the ball, opening a 20-0 halftime lead en route to the victory.
The 30 points scored were the most since October 4th when they defeated Eastern Michigan 31-6.
Junior quarterback Kyle Pohl rebounded from a bad outing in the Zips previous game -- a 55-24 loss at Buffalo. He completed 26-of-40 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns -- one each to senior WR L.T. Smith and junior RB Conor Hundley (who also added a 12 yard touchdown run).
RB Jawon Chisholm, one of 26 seniors playing their final home game, led the ground game with 78 yards on 19 carries. Junior Zach
The defense also rebounded after the UB game as it held the high-powered UMass offense-- albeit without stanout quarterback Blake Frohnapfel -- to just 235 total yards while forcing four turnovers (a fumble and three interceptions). Junior LB Jatavis Brown led the 'D" with nine total tackles, along with a 1 ½ tackles for losses.
ON THE YEAR:
UA is averaging 372.7 yards per game on offense while scoring 22.5 points per game. Defensively the Zips are allowing 22.7 points per game (first in the MAC) and 367.5 total yards per game (second in the MAC).
Individually on the offense, Kyle Pohl is completing 56 percent of his passes (191-of-341) for 1,998 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Conor Hundley leads the ground attack with 531 yards on 101 carries with four touchdowns.The receivers are led by Zach D’Orazio with 57 catches for 617 yards and one touchdown.
The defense is led by junior LB Jatavis Brown with 89 total tackles (57 solo). He also leads the group in tackles for losses with 11.5 and is second on the team in sacks with four.
On special teams,. P Zach Paul is averaging 42.5 yards per kick (third in the MAC), while PK Robert Stein is 12-of-14 on field goals and 24-of-24 on PATs (he and Ohio’s Josiah Yazdani are the only two kickers that are perfect on PATs so far this season).
UA is 5-6 (equaling their win total for all of last season and are 1-4 on the road)…They opened the 2014 season with a 41-0 shutout of Howard at home. Then came consecutive losses at Penn State and at home to nationally ranked Marshall.
A win at Pittsburgh on September 27 started a three-game winning streak, which included a win over Eastern Michigan, followed by a win over Miam.
Akron then went through a four-game losing streak that was ended in their last outing -- the victory over UMass…
With a victory against KSU Friday, the Zips would have the most wins since 2005 when they won the MAC East, defeated Northern Illinois in the Championship game, and played in the Motor City Bowl losing to Memphis.
The win over UMass was the fourth at home by the Zips the most since 2006 when they were at the Rubber Bowl…The 30 points scored was the most since October 4th (31 vs EMU) and the 411 yards of total offense was the third highest total in 2014…Several Zips are moving up the all-time charts…RB Jawon Chisholm will finish his Zips career in second place on the all-time rushing list (has 3,219 yards going into the Kent State game)… WR Keith Sconiers moved into seventh place on the all-time reception list with 113…Kyle Pohl is in fourth place on the all-time yardage list with 4,798 (needing 202 yards for 5000)…Senior LB Jatavis Brown had a career high 16 total tackles vs BGSU…DeAndre Scotrt’s interception return for a touchdown at Buffalo was the first scored by the UA defense since Justin March’s 27-yard INT return for a score at Michigan September 14, 2013… WR Zach D’Orazio collected his third 100-yard receiving game of his career and second of 2014 with his career best 121 yards vs the Minutemen…PK Robert Stein was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week as he kicked three field goals and added two extra points in the win over UMASS.
The game is the 57th lifetime meeting between the two schools that are just 11.6 miles apart on Ohio Route 59. Tthe Zips hold a 31-23-2 advantage…It's the 23rd lifetime game at Kent with the Golden Flashes holding a 14-8 edge…Since the battle for The Wagon Wheel trophy began in 1946, KSU holds a slim 22-20-1 lead, including winning three of the last four…Last season, the Zips regained possession of the trophy with a 16-7 win at InfoCision Stadium. That ended a three-game losing streak, their longest in the series since a 10-game skid dating back to 1942-54..The two schools have played consecutively since 1983…The last time these two teams completed a regular season against each other was 2005 in a blizzard at the Rubber Bowl. UA emerged with a 35-3 victory.
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (1-9, 0-6 MAC EAST)
LAST TIME OUT:
November 12, losing at Bowling Green 30-20. For the second consecutive game, the Golden Flashes faced a division leader and gave them a tussle for most of the contest. The Falcons finally pulled away
Like the previous week against Toledo, the Flashes fell behind -- this time it was 17-0 after the first quarter and it looked like the beginnings of a rout. However, KSU rallied behind a pair of touchdown passes by sophomore QB Colin Reardon to senior WR Chris Humphrey.
In the fourth quarter, the Flashes closed to within three when Reardon, who threw for 284 yards, connected on his third touchdown pass ofc the game -- a 14-yarder for senior TE Casey Pierce. KSU went for two and failed. On the next drive, BGSU sealed the contest and the Eastern Division title with a 2-yard touchdown run by Andre Givens.
Reardon completed 24-of-37 passes on the might. He also threw four interceptions to go with three touchdown strikes,
Sophomore RB Nick Holley had 21 rushing yards, while Pierce (12 for 127) and Humphrey (8 for 132) both surpassed 100 receiving yards.
Defensively, sophomore Nate Holley again led KSU in tackles with 17 total (eight solo), while Jordan Italiano had 16 total stops (nine solo) along with an interceptions and a forced fumble and was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week
ON THE YEAR:
KSU offensively is averaging 15.3 points and 306 yards per game…QB Colin Reardon is the leader of the offense and he has completed 56.3 percent of his passes (200-of-355) for 2,168 yards with 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions…Sophomore RB Nick Holley leads the ground attack with 421 yards on 111 carries.
Senior TE Casey Pierce leads the receivers with 54 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns (KSU has two receivers with at least 40 receptions, five with at least 20, and seven with at least 10).
The defense is led by sophomore DB Nate Holley, who leads the MAC with 127 total tackles (71 solo)…The special teams are led by junior Anthony Melchiori who does both the punting and place kicking. He leads the MAC in punting with a 44.2 yard average per kick…In addition, he is 10-of-16 on field goals and 13-of-15 on PATs.
Kent State is 1-10 overall (the most losses in a season since 2005) and 1-4 at Dix Stadium. The Flashes went winless in their first six games this season for the first time since 1998 (0-3 on the road). They opened the 2014 campaign at home, coming back from a 14-7 deficit to tie Ohio 14-14 with 3:34 remaining -- only to see the Bobcats hit a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the game for a 17-14 victory.
The was the closest the Flashes have come to a victory so far this season until their 39-17 win over Army on October 18.
Since the win over the Black Knights, their three losses (at Miami, vs. Toledo, at BGSU) were by a total of 17 points. The game at Buffalo was first postponed and later cancelled due to a massive lake effect snow storm in Western New York.
QB Colin Reardon moved into sixth place on the all-time career completions list with 386. He also moved into sixth on the career passing yards list with 4,125 and is tied for seventh in career touchdown passes with 24. The offensive line has allowed Reardon to be sacked only once in the last six games…WR Chris Humphrey moved into fifth place on the all-time receptions list with 119…Nate Holley is third in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 12.7 total tackles per game and fourth in solo stops at 7.1 per contest…sophomore Elcee Refuge had a career high 12 total tackles and a forced fumble against the Falcons.