Here's a riddle: What's the difference between Akron this week and Akron last week?
Lipstick? No. The answer is Sean Baker.
Baker, a defensive back for Ball State, caught three of Chris Jacquemain's four interceptions. The junior quarterback also fumbled, which Baker returned for a touchdown. Baker, who is auditioning for Chuck Norris status, also made nine tackles and broke up a pass.
The Zips lost 41-24 in a game that looked eerily like last week's win over Syracuse. Problem was, Akron couldn't protect the ball this time.
Were there good things about Akron's performance? Sure. The secondary limited Nate Davis' options by providing solid coverage, particularly downfield. Miguel Graham logged the play of the game with a one-handed interception in the endzone.
Akron's running game was healthy (although I would argue that the coaches didn't give Andrew Johnson nearly enough carries). Deryn Bowser also played well, catching eight passes for 117 yards.
The real problem was dropped passes and other mistakes in the passing game. Dashan Miller and Jeremy Bruce each dropped an easy catch that turned into an interception.
Although Alex Allen left the game on a stretcher, I have been told that his injury is not as serious as it appeared. Allen believes he can play next week (but what player doesn't?).
Jacquemain's stats are worse than they should be, but he still played awful. This was a game that the Zips would have won, if only they received adequate quarterback play.
For what it's worth, tailgating was fun. Although the intense rain created new rivers and swamps, yours truly and several others took the opportunity to slide through the mud. Good times.
I will have more on the game tomorrow.