13 TEAMS/13 DAYS: AKRON ZIPS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
August 16, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MAC PRESS RELEASE
Preview courtesy of Akron Sports Information
The Akron Zips open the 2014 campaign with high expectations after a 2013 season that saw the program win the Wagon Wheel and close Mid-American Conference on a high note. The Zips closed the season on a three-game winning streak and posted wins in four of its final five contests.
Head coach Terry Bowden, set to begin his third season at the helm of the Zips, has the programlooking how it can improve today, not tomorrow, as UA has been picked to finish second in the MAC East in the conference preseason poll.
On offense, the Zips return eight starts and will enter MAC play with one of the more experienced receiving corps in the league. The returning group ranks in the top-10 nationally in careerreceptions (371), career receiving yards (4,449) and career receiving touchdowns (28). Junior QB Kyle Pohl will have a number of targets at his disposal, in addition to RB Jawon Chisholm. Chisholm ranks seventh in program history of 2,783 career rushing yards, needing 217 yards on the ground to become just the third 3,000-yard rusher in program history.
Although Akron returns just four defensive starters, the Zips have 22 returning letterwinners to build on a strong finish last season. The UA defense allowed just 16.3 points-per-game over the final three contests.
The linebacker trio of Jatavis Brown (2013 First-Team All-MAC), Justin March (2013 Third-Team All-MAC) and C.J. Mizell combined for 228 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Akron opens the 2014 slate on Thursday, Aug. 28, at home against Howard. The Zips will then travel to Penn State on September 6. After a bye week, UA closes out non-conference play at home against Marshall (September 20) and at Pittsburgh (September 27).