A Kentucky blogger and I had a discussion. First, here is what he, Rob Pedigo, had to say:
Howdy Zip fans! As you know, your Akron Zips are heading south this weekend to face my University of Kentucky Wildcats of the mighty Southeastern Conference! Not many college football fans realize it north of the Ohio River, but we play football in the Bluegrass too. We hope that all of the Akron students and alumni make the trek south this weekend to Commonwealth Stadium for some football and bourbon. Here is what the blue and white have done so far in the young 2010 season…
In week 1, The cats headed west to face their biggest rival, the Big East’s Louisville cardinals at Papa John’s Stadium. The cats entered the game as a 2.5 point favorite and took only 2 plays to score their first points of the year when All-SEC running back, Derrick Locke spun off a would be tackler to finish off the 70 yard drive with a 32 yard touchdown run. The Cats missed the extra point, but on their very next drive went 82 yards to pay dirt capped by Derrick Locke’s 2nd touchdown of the game from 2 yards out. Locke finished the game with 104 yards on 23 carries to pace the UK ground game. Kentucky ’s “Mr. Do It All”, Randall Cobb, the pilot of the “Wild Cobb” formation put his stamp on the season opener with the cat’s final touchdown of the day when he took an end around hand off and rumbled 51 yards to give Kentucky an early 17 point lead in Louisville . Locke and Cobb are two of the most dynamic players in the SEC and the country. Locke is a track star turned running back from Oklahoma and Cobb is now Kentucky’s #1 receiver after spending time as their starting QB his freshman year. UK senior quarterback, Mike Hartline, finished 17 of 26 for 217 yards with no interceptions in a very solid effort from the much maligned GlenOak High School and canton, Ohio native. The Cats took the foot off the gas in the 2nd half and beat the cards 23-16 after an early 17 point lead.
This past Saturday, September 11th, was no doubt, The Randall Cobb show against Western Kentucky University in Lexington . You may have heard of the “hat trick” in hockey, or the “Tri-Fecta” in horse racing but what Cobb did Saturday night had nothing to do with a “hat” or a “trick” but he did put 3 touchdowns on the board in the Wildcats 63-28 beat down of the Hilltoppers. Cobb had a 35 yard touchdown reception from hartline, he had a 50 yard punt return for a score, and he added a 15 yard touchdown pass to fullback, Moncell “Turtle” Allen. The 2009 first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection does big things with relative little effort at least that is what it seems like. It is being discussed in Kentucky this week whether or not Cobb is the greatest football player to ever play at the University of Kentucky . Personally, I don’t think there is any doubt he is exactly that. QB, mike Hartline finished 16 of 20 with 213 yards and a career high, 3 touchdown passes. Derrick Locke finished with 102 yards and a touchdown. It was the first time the cats put up 50 points since 2007.
So, that brings us to this Saturday’s tilt against your Akron Zips and the point in the program where I make my prediction for the game. My cats are riding on a 17 game regular season nonconference winning streak going into this weekend. Saying that, there was a time not to many years ago, where MAC schools could march in and out of Commonwealth Stadium with a victory. Those days, my Akron friends, are over. Former Coach Rich Brooks has left first year head coach, joker Phillips a stable full of studs that are right for the fight! If this was 1994 and Billy Curry was still roaming the sidelines at UK , you may have a shot to upset the Big Blue, but it’s not, and you won’t….
Cats 45 Zips 13
Akron's fans are horrified. They see a brand new stadium (well, in its second year of use) and they envision it only being about one-fifth full for the rest of the season. The fanbase has suffered letdown after letdown since Akron lost an overtime game to Buffalo in 2008 that closed the old stadium, the historic Rubber Bowl. We have a new coach, and with him, a new pro-spread offense and 4-3 defense. The Zips can be strong up front on defense, can run the ball well, and quarterback Patrick Nicely has a high ceiling. But the Zips need their receivers to be more productive and they need to be more stingy against the pass. It might be a quote-unquote long season, but the team's spirits are still high after losing bad at home to Syracuse and getting beat in overtime against Division I-AA's Gardner-Webb. So you see why fans are horrified. I think Akron has at least one upset coming this year, why not against Ohio Jr. (aka Kentucky)?