University of Akron Zips blog
Sorry it took so long to post after the game. I've been sort of sick.
Anyhow, here are my grades for the team's performance against Indiana...
Quarterbacks -- You have to be excited by Carlton Jackson's play. He played like the player we all dreamed about -- like the player I compared to Michael Vick (for which I took a severe verbal beating). I predict that J.D. Brookhart won't name a starter for the Kent State game. Why not let Doug Martin prepare for both Jackson and Chris Jacquemain? Although I do not object to allowing Jacquemain a few series here and there, Jackson should be the present and the future. Grade: A
Running backs -- What happened to this offense? The Zips can pass, but cannot run. The backs accumulated 43 yards on 16 carries against Indiana. That certainly wasn't the plan when the team left camp. As a reader pointed out to me, Dennis Kennedy is not the kind of running back who can excel without a bruising line. That's why Bryan Williams needs to get the bulk of carries against Kent State? And why not give the speedy Andre Walker a shot? I won't bet against Kennedy eventually asserting himself. Until then, Williams should start. Grade: D-
Tight ends -- Finally! A tight end caught a meaningful pass when Jackson found Kris Kasparek on a 21-yard touchdown. Still, the stable of talented tight ends caught only one pass the entire game. Considering Joe Moorhead's offense supposedly featured the tight ends, how could this be? Perhaps the tight ends are running poor routes. Maybe the quarterbacks are looking only at the receivers. What if the passers have lost confidence in Kasparek's ping-pong paddle hands? Grade: B-
Offensive line -- Indiana sacked Akron quarterbacks just four times. That's an accomplishment against a team that had led the nation in sacks. However, the run blocking was terrible. Unless Chris Wells transfers to Akron, Zips running backs will need some holes to be effective, and they simply aren't there. Grade: C
Wide receivers -- It's hard to overstate Jabari Arthur's talent. As we have seen this year, defensive backs have little chance to defend against his height, and certainly have issues in tackling him. Stephon Fuqua chimed in with four receptions for 38 yards. I still want to see a second receiver make a big play, and that has yet to happen. Grade: B+
Defensive line -- The line did a fine job at plugging the run up the middle, but got minimal pressure on IU quarterback Kellen Lewis, which is part of the reason he was able to run at his leisure for 198 yards. Grade: C-
Linebackers -- Brion Stokes, Kevin Grant and John Mackey played well. Doug Williams was nearly invisible. The linebackers also share blame for Lewis' scrambling. Are you telling me that by the fourth quarter one linebacker did not recognize the need to keep an eye on him? Grade: C
Secondary -- Despite the costly penalties, Davanzo Tate did a fabulous job on James Hardy, limiting him to a season-low 65 yards. Andre Jones added an interception. Despite keeping IU's passing game to just 137 yards, Lewis passed for three touchdowns. Grade: B
Punting -- John Stec punted five times for an average of 31.6 yards. Not good. Grade: C-
Place kicking -- Igor Iveljic quietly is settling into the job. He nailed a 20-yard field goal and each of his three extra point attempts. He's no Austin Starr, but who is? Matt Domonkos needs to start getting more leg on his kickoffs. I'm not sure why he's doing kickoffs when Iveljic clearly has the bigger leg. Grade: B+
Coaching -- For the third week, the players gave great effort. The coaches should get much of the credit for that. But why, oh why, didn't they plan for Lewis' mobility? They knew he could run, but Jim Fleming's defense still was grossly out of place when he left the pocket. The Zips were dropping eight players into coverage against the Hoosiers. Why not seven, and use the eighth to contain the quarterback? Regardless, this problem needs fixed before Saturday at noon when mobile quarterback Julian Edelman and Golden Flashes visit the Rubber Bowl. Also, hopefully the team starts playing to win. Punting when losing by two scores with four minutes to play shows the players that the coaches won't do everything necessary to win. Grade: C-
Here are some media clips from the game...
Akron Beacon Journal
Times Mail (Bedford, Ind.)
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette
Zippy is in second place in the Capital One Mascot Competition. He leads his competitor Cav Man (from UVa.) by about 4,000 votes. You can vote here.
Derek Anderson threw for five touchdowns in the first game since Charlie Frye's dismissal. I might have been wrong about the reasoning behind trading Frye. Maybe Phil Savage believed that eliminating part of the quarterback controversy would give Anderson confidence. If so, he's a genius (and I'm the idiot). Regardless, I'm proud to be a Browns fan again.
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