With Buffalo winning last night, Akron must win tonight to avoid falling a game behind the Bulls and Bowling Green (who essentially has a game lead over the Zips because their win at the Rubber Bowl gives them a tiebreaker).
The ABJ's Tom Gaffney wrote a good preview of the game. J.D. Brookhart talks about his concern for Toledo's skill players on offense. Also, while we are concerned about Toledo being motivated for its departing coach, Tom Amstutz said he was worried his team might have too many distractions.
MACReportOnline.com has a lengthy preview breaking down the game.
The spread has moved to seven points for one sportsbook.
As I mentioned, Buffalo beat Miami last night, 37-17. Bulls' running back James Starks ran wild for 177 yards. The bright side is that Miami, the defending division champion, is out of the race at 1-4.
Prediction -- I have been trying to figure out how the Rockets will respond to their beloved coach's announcement. To me, it comes down to Toledo's record. Right now, they are 2-6, which means they can still become bowl-eligible. That hope gives the players motivation to make something out of Amstutz's last season, rather than just going into the tank.
With the Rockets' weapons, I can't envision Akron holding them to under 24 points. It might take a few drives for Akron's offense to find a groove. Combine that with Toledo's motivation for Amstutz, and I think it's likely that the Zips will fall in an early hole.
If Chris Jacquemain makes big mistakes, Akron might never recover. However, I think Brookhart will rely on his running game to slowly retake the game. Akron will win its first game at the Rubber Bowl this season and come within one game of bowl eligibility.
Akron 34, Toledo 24
The PD's Elton Alexander previewed the Zips' season.
Nate Linhart said none of his goals have changed, despite the media's skepticism about Akron's ability to win the conference.
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