I can't believe football season is already here. It's almost like Christmas in that it sneaks up on me some years. I wake up and, hey, it's time for kickoff!
Here are some stories in today's newspapers. At the end of this blog entry, I will provide my prediction on the game.
The big storm moving through Pennsylvania has dampened my hopes for an Akron victory. It's going to make the ball wet and field cold. It's going to make this early September afternoon into a typical November day in the Big Ten, where smash-mouth football is the norm.
Akron can't afford to get into that. No matter how well Dennis Kennedy plays, Penn State's linemen and linebackers are too talented to allow a huge day. The Zips still must pass to win. That's why the entire game rests on Luke Getsy. If he is able to throw through the wind and rain, picking apart an inexperienced secondary, Akron can keep this game close.
To win, I believe the Zips will need help from the Nittany Lions -- in the form of turnovers. Mainly, they need to rely on forcing fumbles and interceptions from first-time starter Anthony Morelli. The Zips must also contain Tony Hunt. Give him four or five yards per carry, but minimize the big runs.
Can Akron win? Yes. It would have been more likely if the teams played on a sunny evening at the Rubber Bowl. Under these conditions, I give a huge edge to Penn State. Worst-case scenario: Akron loses 41-14. Best-case scenario: Akron wins 38-35. My prediction: Akron loses 41-24.
Coach Caleb Porter said the Zips played "very well" Friday night.
They squeaked out a 3-2 double-overtime win against St. Bonaventure.
With a 14-0 corner kick advantage, it looks like the Zips were in position to score often, but just couldn't execute. Ashley Kozicki did, however. He scored the game-winning goal with a minute left in double-overtime.
Porter said these games build character. They also build doubt as to whether this team is as good as last year's Elite Eight squad.
The Zips will have another tune up Sunday at 1 p.m. at home against St. Francis.
Maybe the mojo shifted to the women.
The Zips beat IUPUI 2-0 to stay undefeated (3-0).
Adrienne Knox and Heather Rains scored goals for Akron while Krystin Wilson pitched a shutout in goal.
The Zips will play Valparaiso Sunday at 2 p.m.
Suffering from an anemic offense, Akron lost two matches Friday.
Pittsburgh beat the Zips 3-1, then Northeastern swept Akron 3-0.
The next match, Sunday against Rhode Island, will indicate whether Akron's youth can rebound.