The theme: This is a defense that depends highly on its linebackers. Akron won't play another team with speed like this in the next decade.
Key players: LB James Laurinaitis, DE Vernon Gholston, CB Malcolm Jenkins
Weaknesses: The line is very inexperienced, especially now that sophomore Robert Rose is playing for the injured Lawrence Wilson. The pure talent of the young players might negate that in the Buckeyes' nonconference schedule. Rose impressed many in his limited time as a true freshman. The tackles, sophomores Doug Worthington and Todd Denlinger, possess great upside, too.
How the Zips can score: Jenkins will probably cover Jabari Arthur, so the Zips must utilize Stephon Fuqua, Brandon Williams and Alphonso Owen. The tight ends must be a bigger part of the gameplan, too. A two-dimensional attack (Arthur and Dennis Kennedy) simply won't work in Columbus, like it did in Cleveland.