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San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers recalls days laboring under Chuck Amato

By George Thomas Published: October 2, 2015

Apparently as head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack, current University of Akron associate head coach and defensive coordinator Chuck Amato could be a bit of a taskmaster.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who spoke with media covering the Cleveland Browns via teleconference in advance of their Sunday game, played for Amato and had nothing but praise for him – almost.

“He was great. Obviously, my whole career was spent there with him as his days as head coach. I am sure you all have come to appreciate the high pitched voice at times that he always had,” he said with a chuckle.

Rivers shared a story, however, that shows just how far the defensive coach’s influence extends. Rivers and his wife home school their children and they apparently had school lessons on a Labor Day this year.  

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Scout box: Akron Zips vs. Ohio Bobcats

By George Thomas Published: October 2, 2015

Time: 2 p.m.

Where: InfoCision Stadium

Television/Radio/Internet: ESPN 3 (via streaming devices): Michael Reghi (play by play), Jerod Cherry (analyst); Akron-IMG Sports Network: Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) WARF 1350 AM (flagship), WHK 1420 AM, WHKZ 1440 AM; iHeart Radio, Zips

Injury report:  Running backs D.J. Jones and Newman Williams are out for UA.

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Akron Zips football: Jerome Lane Jr. experiment is yielding positive results

By George Thomas Published: September 29, 2015

Right now Bowden and his brother, wide receivers coach Jeff Bowden, are looking like geniuses for pulling Jerome Lane Jr. from his former primary duties on the defense. It has yielded results in team’s first four games.

In each game in which he’s had a reception this season, he’s had one of 42 yards or longer.  The longest came against the Ragin’ Cajuns Saturday when caught a 72-yard TD.

With Louisiana blitzing, quarterback Thomas Woodson found him about 12 yards off the line of scrimmage. Lane reached out, grabbed the ball and raced the rest of the way for the score.

“Finding a place for Jerome probably would have been genius wherever you got him to settle down to play,” Bowden said.

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Football scout box: Akron Zips at Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

By George Thomas Published: September 25, 2015

Time: 7 p.m. ET

Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, La.

Television/Radio/Internet: ESPN3: Drew Fellios (play-by-play), Forrest Conoly (analyst); Akron-IMG Sports Network: Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) WARF 1350 AM (flagship), WHK 1420 AM, WHKZ 1440 AM; iHeart Radio, Zips

Three keys:  This game will offer a better representation of what type of team the Akron Zips are.  After taking on two Power 5 schools in Oklahoma and Pitt and moving on to a far inferior mid-major in Savannah State, the Sunbelt Conference’s Ragin’ Cajun is more in tune to what the UA program is.  The two schools have met one before, a meeting Louisiana won 35-30.  Here’s what the Zips need to do to even the score:

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Akron Zips football: Woodson's elevated to starter, Chapman has to deal

By George Thomas Published: September 22, 2015

With quarterback Thomas Woodson’s elevation to starting quarterback, caoch Terry Bowden was asked in his Tuesday press conference how fellow sophomore Tra’Von Chapman was handling the situation.

“Chapman’s a competitor.  He doesn’t like it.  He wants to play,” he said. “He wants to get out there…if things don’t work out, you get up and go again.  When your time comes, you need to perform and if you hit a bump in the road, you’ve got to respond to it.”

And the situation will likely get further complicated by Kyle Pohl’s return.  He suffered a head injury in the loss to Pitt and missed Saturday’s game, but was able to put in some work today, Bowden said.  The coaches don’t know if Pohl will be cleared for action until tomorrow (Wednesday).

Senior kicker Robert Stein is getting off to a rough start in the team’s first three games, connecting on 2-of-4 kicks, including having one blocked against Savannah State that the Tigers returned for a touchdown, giving them a 9-7 lead at the 9:32 mark of the second quarter.

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Akron Zips football: Zips beat Savannah State 52-9

By George Thomas Published: September 19, 2015

The University of Akron football team overcame several early miscues to steamroll the Savannah State Tigers 52-9.

The Zips outgained the Tigers 626-202 offensively with sophomore quarterback Thomas Woodson leading the way for most of the game.  Woodson connected on 12-of-20  passes for 207 yards and 63 yards rushing on 11 carries. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for another..

Senior noseguard Cody Grice, a converted fullback, rushed for three touchdowns. Senior tailback Conor Hundley rushed for 120 yards on 11carries with one TD.

After a shaky start the UA defense held the Tigers to an average of three yards per play and allowed three of the Tigers’ points.

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