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Miami wins defensive duel

By mrasor Published: November 15, 2007

This game is a microcosm of the season.
There were highlights, but one of the nation's worst quarterback situations sucked away hope of winning.
Akron's defense did not allow Miami to score in the Zips' 7-0 loss. John Mackey picked off two passes. Davanzo Tate broke up four passes. The defensive front dominated.
Shift your focus to the wimpy offense. Chris Jacquemain went 12-of-33 and threw two interceptions against the MAC's best scoring defense. Carlton Jackson came to the rescue and promptly fumbled for a RedHawks touchdown. Alex Allen's career game wasn't nearly enough to overcome such incompetence.

    On to the grades...
    Quarterback -- I'd be surprised if it gets any worse than this. After next Friday, neither of these guys will throw another ball for the blue and gold. Hopefully. Grade: F
    Running back -- Allen was outstanding. He really looked like an elite back last night. He and Bryan Williams are the best tandem in the league at this point. Add Andrew Johnson to that mix next season. (Chills just went through my body.) Grade: B
    Wide receiver -- It's hard to blame the receivers when no one gets them the ball. Jabari Arthur had a solid game, and could have tied it if not for a terrible throw on fourth down at the end. Grade: C+
    Tight end -- Zero catches. Zero passers. Moot point. Grade: Incomplete
    Offensive line -- The announcers were whining about bad protection, but the RedHawks stellar front seven only tallied two sacks. They started to open holes in the middle, too, which has been my only minor complaint this season. Grade: B+
    Kicker -- No scoring. No place kicks. Moot point. Grade: Incomplete
    Punter -- John Stec had an average of 38.6 yards per punt. His rush for a first down was huge. I could see that play developing since training camp with the rugby kick. Grade: B+
    Defensive line -- They really plugged holes up front and allowed the linebackers to make plays. I was impressed. It's too bad Nate Robinson has only one game left at Akron. He is an unsung hero because, like all nose tackles, you won't see his effectiveness in a stat line. Grade: B+
    Linebackers -- I haven't seen Kevin Grant play with such a purpose. He hurried the quarterback once and made two tackles for loss. Maybe next year he will be the guy we expected after 2005. Grade: A
    Secondary -- John Mackey, I hope you TiVo'ed this game. I hope you show it to every employer to whom you ever apply. It shows your guts, talent and work ethic. Two interceptions and leading the team in tackles with nine??? Wow. Tate played a stellar game, too. Grade: A+
    Coaching -- Let this be a lesson to all of you fans who complain about Akron recruiting too many quarterbacks. It's very easy to get stuck without one. Take a look at Kent State -- a team with a ton of talent, but no passers. As many of you have pointed out, Jackson needs to move to receiver. Jacquemain needs to move his *** to the bench to make way for Matt Rodgers in 2008. As for J.D. Brookhart and his staff, they made some smart calls. And the team appeared to be giving a great effort. However, there is no excuse for never entering scoring position when you're running game is performing OK. I don't want to blame Joe Moorhead completely, because his offense requires an above average passer. Unfortunately, the Zips don't have any semblance of one. Grade: C+

Mack Rhoades decided not to renew coach Mike Swietzer's contract.
He is out as coach, effective immediately. Swietzer has a career record of 281-252, but the team went 10-20 this year.
Men's basketball
Here's a reminder that Akron will tip off against South Carolina Upstate tomorrow at 10 p.m.
I commend the radio guys Steve French and Joe Dunn for braving the nine-hour flight to cover it for us.
I will break down the USCU Spartans sometime tomorrow.
    The following stories are in the Buchtelite's basketball preview...
    My column about why the early season games are very important.
    Adam Ferrise wrote his column about Cedrick Middleton and how he coped with Penno's Prayer.
    Vincent Dorsey previewed the season. It's a good read.
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