InfoCision Stadium – Akron, OH
By EVAN MEYER
If one word had to describe Wednesday night’s Mid-American Conference game at InfoCision Stadium, that world would most likely be DESPERATION!
The homestanding Akron Zips have lost two straight and three of their last four, appearing non-competitive a times in losses to Western Michigan, Buffalo, and last week against Toledo. Nevertheless, the Blue and Gold enter their final home game of the 2016 season with an outside shot at the Eastern Division title, as well as earning bowl eligible for the second consecutive season.
The Bowling Green Falcons, under first year head coach Mike Jinks, have their own struggles. They have lost seven consecutive games, including all five in MAC play. The defending MAC champions have not won a game against a Football Bowl Subdivision team since last December, when they beat Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game
Here is more on the two teams . . .
LAST TIME OUT: The Zips dropped their second straight and third in the last four games last Wednesday night as the Toledo Rockets scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions to turn a close game into a 48-10 Akron loss at InfoCision Stadium. UA struck on its first offensive play as junior QB Thomas Woodson connected with WR Jerome Lane for a 91-yard touchdown. The two teams traded field goal before UT began its scoring barrage in the second quarter. Akron did reach the end zone once more midway through the third quarter when Woodson and fifth-year senior WR JoJo Natson hooked up for a 27-yard scoring strike. Woodson completed 17-of-31 passes for 316 yards and the pair of six-pointers. Lane had six receptions for 177 yards and his score Senior RB Denzel Jones Jr had 72 yards rushing while the defense was led by LB Brian Bell and DB Alvin Dacvis each with 11 total tackles.
ZIPS SEASON TO DATE: The Zips went 2-2 in their non-conference schedule with a home win over Virginia Military to open the season and a road victory at Marshall. Their losses came on the road at nationally-ranked Wisconsin and at home to Appalachian State. UA opened MAC play with a pair of wins -- first at Kent State, then at home against Miami. Affter being shut out at home by nationally ranked Western Michigan, the Zips rebounded with a victory at Ball State before the losses at Buffalo and to the Rockets. Following 11 straight weeks of football, UA will have a week off before completing the regular season at Ohio on Tuesday November 22nd
OFFENSE: UA is averaging 29.8 points and 404.9 yards per game
RUSHING: Van Edwards 77 carries – 401 yards
PASSING: Thomas Woodson 146-241-7 2079 yards 19 touchdowns
RECEIVING: Jerome Lane 53 receptions- 886 yards- five touchdowns
DEFENSE: The Zips are allowing 35.6 points and 487 yards per game
TACKLES: Ulysses Gilbert (55-51-106)
TACKLES FOR LOSSES: Gilbert 8.5-34 yards
SACKS: Jamal Marcus 2.5 – eight yards
INTERCEPTIONS: Kyron Brown 3-68
PASS BREAKUPS: Larry Hope with six
PUNTING: Nick Gasser 46-37.4 average
PLACE KICKING: Tom O’ Leary 58 points (7-7 FG/ 37-40 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Van Edwards 20-24.1
PUNT RETURNS: JoJo Natson 13-18.2 (TD)
ZIPS NOTES: The game marks the final home tile for 23 seniors, the first graduating class under head coach Terry Bowden…The 91-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Woodson to Jerome Lane was the longest offensive play by UA so far this season and the second longest in school history…With his 316 passing yards against the Rockets, Woodson moved into fourth place on the Zips all-time passing yardage list with 5,087 and his two touchdowns gives him 39s in 2016 for his career third all-time…The Zips offense has registered 24 passing touchdowns in 2016 tied for second most in a season…Jerome Lane picked up his fifth 100-yard receiving game against UT...LB Brian Bell and DB Alvin Davis each had career highs with 11 total tackles…RB Denzel Jones Jr. had a career best 72 yards rushing…UA needs one win in its final; two games to become bowl eligible for the second consecutive season.
THE SERIES: The game is the 23rd in the series between the two schools with the Falcons having a decisive 15-7 edge. They have won the last seven meetings in the series, including last year’s encounter at Perry Stadium, 59-10…BGSU is a perfect 3-0 in games at InfoCision Stadium and leads in games played in Akron 7-4…UA’s last win in the series was 2006 at the Rubber Bowl 35-28
LAST TIME OUT: The Falcons absorbed their seventh consecutive loss Tuesday night, falling to the Northern Illinois Huskies, 45-20, in DeKalb. The home team built a 24-13 halftime lead, then scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to seal the victory and keep the Falcons winless in MAC play so far this season.
QB James Morgan completed 21-of-41 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. WR Scott Miller had six receptions for 51 yards and a score while the defense was led by S Jamari Bozeman with 15 total tackles (nine solo)
BGSU SEASON TO DATE: In the opener at Ohio State they intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown early in the first quarter. From that point on, the Buckeyes outscored BGSU 77-3 ( a 77-10 loss). It would be a portent of things to come. After narrowly beating FCS member North Dakota, a loss at Middle Tennessee started the Falcons on their current losing streak which includes a 77-3 drubbing at Memphis.
The Akron game is the Falcons final road game of the season. They will finish the campaign with home games against Kent State and Buffalo
OFFENSE: BGSU is averaging 21.2 points and 385.7 yards per game
RUSHING: Fred Coppet 149 carries – 649 yards three touchdowns
PASSING: James Morgan 148-258-13 1654 yds. 14 touchdowns
RECEIVING: Scott Miller 64 receptions- 849 yards 10 touchdowns
DEFENSE: The Falcons are allowing 45.1 points and 504.7 yards per game
TACKLES: Trenton Greene (40-47-87)
TACKLES FOR LOSSES: Gus Schwinterman 9 – 30 yards
SACKS: Schwinterman 4-21
INTERCEPTIONS: Brandon Harris 2-78
PASS BREAKUPS: Alfonso Mack - 5
PUNTING: Joe Davidson 49-47.0 yds. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Jake Suder 39 pts (6-9 FG/21-24 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Scott Miller 16-17.6 yds. per return
PUNT RETURNS: Will Watson 5-34
FALCONS NOTES: WR Ronnie Moore is sixth in the Falcons all-time receiving yardage list with 2,600 yds. along has caught at least one pass in 38 consecutive games (eighth longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision)….P Joe Davidson has eight punts of 60 or more yards so far this season. He also owns two of the three longest kicks so far this season in the FBS (82 yds. at Toledo and 79 yds at Ohio)…RB Fred Coppet has 2,407 career rushing yards seventh on the all-time list. He needs 24 yards to move into sixth place ahead of Josh Harris….WR Scott Miller has 10 receiving touchdowns so far this season, the seventh best in BGSU football history.