Akron (1-5) at Ohio University (6-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 13, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Peden Stadium (24,000) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: Akron 1-3, Ohio 3-0. Away Record: Akron 0-2, Ohio 3-0. Neutral Record: Akron 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Akron 0-2, Ohio 2-0. Series Record: Ohio leads, 15-12-1.
GAME NOTES: Terry Bowden and his Akron Zips will look for their first win in league action this season as they head to Peden Stadium for a Mid-American Conference bout against the undefeated Ohio University Bobcats.
Akron lost for the third time in a row last week as it fell, 24-10, to Bowling Green at home. The defeat dropped the team's record in MAC play to 2-0. Despite the poor record, Bowden has clearly created a new culture within the program. In two narrow losses, Akron took FIU to overtime and challenged Miami-Ohio until the very end. The Zips need just one win to better last season's 1-11 finish.
The Bobcats overcame another deficit to stay perfect as they held off Buffalo to pick up a 38-31 win last week. The triumph makes Ohio just one of three bowl eligible teams in the FBS at this early point of the season. Although the team has some big non-conference wins under its belt (Penn State and Marshall), the Bobcats have needed comeback efforts to down UMass and the Buffalo in MAC play.
This will be the 29th meeting in history between these programs. The Bobcats lead the all-time series, 15-12-1, after their 37-20 victory in last season's encounter.
Despite its losing record, Akron is an exciting team to watch with the eighth best passing attack in the FBS (339.5 yards per game) due to a face paced, no- huddle style. Dalton Williams is averaging just under 49 attempts per game and has a 15-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Williams's favorite target is Marquelo Suel, who has tallied 478 receiving yards and four touchdowns through five games. Zach D'Orazio, Keith Sconiers, L.T. Smith, and Dee Freison have all reeled in double-digit receptions already as well.
While Akron clearly emphasizes passing in its offense, Jawon Chisholm is a capable tailback. The sophomore has picked up 498 yards on the ground this season after finishing just 39 yards shy of 1,000 last year as a rookie. Chisholm has reached the 100-yard mark in each of his past two outings.
The Zips are not an intimidating team defensively. Bowling Green is the only one of their five FBS opponents to be held under 40 points. The Falcons set a new high for opponents this season by rushing for 292 yards.
Kurt Mangum is the leading tackler with 46, 25 of which are solo stops. J.D. Griggs is a force up front with 4.5 sacks, which is fifth most in the MAC.
Ohio's offense is ranked fourth in the MAC with an average of 449.3 yards per contest. Junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for 412 yards on 29- of-53 passing in his two games since returning from an injury. Tettleton was picked off for the first time all season last week. The junior needs just one touchdown pass to become the school's all-time career leader.
Although it has arguably the best quarterback in the conference under center, Ohio has an even more dangerous player in junior running back Beau Blankenship this season.
His last time out, Blankenship was held under the century mark for the first time this season. He still managed to produce 86 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. His total of 843 rushing yards is the third highest in the FBS and the best in the MAC.
Junior running back Ryan Boykin is exhibiting the skills to be a change of pace back aside Blankenship. Boykin turned six carries into 64 yards and two touchdowns last week in the victory over Buffalo.
The Bobcats are a strong team defensively with averages of 383.7 yards allowed and 22.8 points allowed per game. However, both UMass and Buffalo passed the 500-yard mark offensively against Ohio.
Junior linebacker Keith Moore has been the heart and soul of the defense and has recorded a team-best 52 total tackles. Neal Huynh is an aggressive lineman and has compiled five tackles for loss.
Akron is another "weak" opponent on paper, but its no huddle offense has a proven ability to put points on the board. The Bobcats should be able to improve to 7-0 and avoid the upset as long as Blankenship continues to slice up defenses with ease.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 42, Akron 27
10/10 10:51:53 ET