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The morning after

By mrasor Published: September 23, 2007

As I wrote last night, I wasn't in any mood to analyze the game. It was celebration time.
Many of the players apparently agreed. Many of them got pretty wild last night at a house party. I'll leave it at that.

    Here are my grades for Akron's 27-20 win over the Flashes.
    Quarterback -- Carlton Jackson looked awful. He coughed up the ball once and threw a pick. Nevertheless, the Zips won thanks to his two touchdowns (one running). Grade: C-
    Running back -- Bryan Williams played OK. Alex Allen showed some bursts of energy. I'm still not impressed. Jackson has too much stress when the offense lacks a running game that moves the chains. Grade: C
    Wide receivers -- Kent State has a good secondary, but the Zips need more than just Jabari Arthur, who caught four passes for 63 yards. The rest combined for three catches and 22 yards. Grade: B-
    Tight end -- Tight ends coach Bill Bleil needs to tells his players to wipe the Crisco off their hands before passing plays. Merce Poindexter dropped a great ball from Jackson that would have been a completion for at least 40 yards. If Akron lost, you could point to that play as a key reason. Poindexter did catch one ball for seven yards. That was the only tight end activity to speak of. Grade: D-
    Offensive line -- The line continues to protect Akron's quarterbacks. Kent State tallied only two sacks. Unfortunately for the Zips, one came from Jackson's blind side and caused a fumble. As much as I criticize the running backs for lackluster play, they haven't had many holes. Grade: C+
    Kicker -- Zips fans will still cringe like an abused puppy before extra points and field goals for a while. Igor Iveljic is restoring some confidence. He drilled two field goals and two extra points Saturday. Grade: A
    Punter -- John Stec averaged 35 yards per punt. Not great. However, he managed to avoid a safety when the protection broke down. That would have demoralized the team. In a game like Saturday, where field position was key, the punter is just as important as your quarterback. If Stec doesn't return to Ohio State form, will Andy Hildreth get a shot? Grade: C+
    Defensive line -- Almondo Sewell logged a career-high of six tackles. Wallace Pendleton added a tackle for loss. These guys will dominate the line of scrimmage one day. Until then, the line is coming along well. Sure, Eugene Jarvis rushed for 159 yards, but it didn't seem like the line was missing tackles. Grade: B
    Linebackers -- Losing John Mackey will hurt the team. A lot. Wayne Cobham stepped into Mackey's rover position. He made six tackles, broke up a pass and recovered a fumble. This shows that the rover position puts players in a spot to make a lot of plays. Cobham might be a little stronger and faster than Mackey, so it could turn out OK. Parris McNeal continues to have a great season off the bench. He sacked Edelman for a 13-yard loss. Doug Williams made two tackles for loss. You can't praise the backers too highly when they surrender 220 rushing yards. Grade: B-
    Secondary -- What an asset the Zips have in Davanzo Tate and Reggie Corner! These guys are incredibly smart and talented. Watch for them to duel for the MAC lead in interceptions this season. Their skill gives the coaching staff the freedom to blitz with more confidence. Grade: A+
    Coaching -- J.D. Brookhart, I bow to you and your staff. The team was prepared strategically and mentally. The Zips formulated a plan to contain Edelman, and it worked. The coaches installed the proper state of mind in their players, and it worked. Brookhart made me proud to be a Zips fan when he went for it on fourth-and-3 and cut Kent State's throat. I never have held back in criticizing Brookhart in the past, but he put Doug Martin to shame. Go sit in the corner, Doug, and think about what you did. Grade: A

    Media clips from today...
    Plain Dealer: The winner of this game traditionally has taken off, while the loser suffers an irreversible setback.
    Plain Dealer: Jarvis says the loss might be a good thing for the team. (Rolling on the floor laughing.)
    Record-Courier: Martin said the referees blew a call by ruling Bryan Williams down, rather than allowing a fumble. Edelman corrected his whiny coach by saying it never should have come down to that.
    ABJ: Martin continues his lineage of idiocy by saying his team was going up and down the field on the Zips, and that Akron had no answers for the Flashes. This guy talks to reporters as if they decide the fate of his job. Knock it off with the excuses. Luckily for you, Doug, your program has historically been so unsuccessful that that winning any more than four games a season will preserve your position.
    Oh yeah... And Zippy needs your help to beat Hokiebird. Vote here.

    Around the MAC...
    Ball State nearly stunned No. 24 Nebraska. The Cardinals lost 41-40 only because of a dropped pass and missed field goal in the last minute. Quarterback Nate Davis is my favorite for MAC MVP. The Cardinals are my favorite to win the conference.
    Temple and Bowling Green unleashed aerial assaults on each other. The Falcons came out on top, 48-35.
    Wyoming suffered seven turnovers against Ohio, but the Bobcats still lost 34-33.
    Miami was as impotent as a drug-free Hugh Hefner in a 42-0 loss at Colorado. The RedHawks moved the ball just 139 yards.
    Central Michigan got blown out 44-14 by D-IAA North Dakota State. Wow. The Chips might have the nation's worst defense.
    Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan won games they should have.
    Toledo recovered a botched punt in the endzone for a 36-35 win over Iowa State.

    My MAC power rankings...
    1. Ball State 2. Bowling Green 3. Western Michigan 4. Akron 5. Ohio 6. Toledo 7. Kent State 8. Northern Illinois 9. Central Michigan 10. Buffalo 11. Eastern Michigan 12. Miami 13. Temple

    MAC East standings...
    Bowling Green -- 1-0 Akron -- 1-0 Buffalo -- 1-0 Ohio -- 0-0 Kent State -- 0-1 Temple -- 0-2
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