Is this rock bottom?
Losing to Temple and Buffalo in consecutive games was unfathomable in August. However, Akron is heading one direction. The Owls and Bulls are going another.
The Zips politely declined to take advantage of scoring opportunities throughout their 26-10 loss today.
Akron outgained Buffalo, 327 to 280. Buffalo snatched each possible point. Akron whiffed.
That's the real story of this game. It's analogous to quarterback Chris Jacquemain's season. His stats aren't bad, but he rarely completes the crucial pass.
I wondered to myself today, how many wins would the Zips have if they played their best player at quarterback? I think the answer is four, including the most recent losses.
Matt Rodgers, whom I heard had minor shoulder surgery, is no longer an option, and the team wouldn't play him anyhow because it would result in the loss of a year of eligibility. But why, oh why, aren't we seeing Carlton Jackson?
The team decided to start Jacquemain after camp broke. They founded the choice on a presumption that the running game would be enough to carry the team, and the quarterback must be a solid game manager who avoids turnovers. Whether Jacquemain fits that description is debatable. What's certain is that Akron needs a playmaking quarterback to keep up. The running game cannot carry the Zips to wins alone.
I believe Jackson will start Friday at Bowling Green -- not because I have any inside information, but because common sense mandates it.
The defense played well enough to win. The Bulls' great running attack gained only 3 yards per carry. Akron's running game was effective. There were no huge gaffes on special teams. Do you see what I'm getting at? I'm isolating this loss completely on the quarterback.
You can look at the coaches, too. At first, I thought the second-half disparity was coincidental. At this point in the season, you have to say there's something else at work. Maybe other coaches are making adjustments while J.D. Brookhart sits on his hands. Maybe Akron isn't deep enough. Maybe Akron isn't well-conditioned for 60 minutes of football.
In all scenarios, the blame falls on the coaches. So does the quarterback decision. I refuse to praise Brookhart as a good coach one week, then a lousy one the next. Unless the Zips lose out and the team revolts, he should keep his job.
Although I've been critical of Joe Moorhead as the offensive coordinator, I liked his play calling today. He took chances and was creative.
As always, I'll have much more tomorrow.