Here are my grades from yesterday's game...
Quarterback -- It was an up-and-down game for
Chris Jacquemain. He kept the Zips in the game, at least. Fans will remember the penalty and interception on the last drive. The refs should not have called the penalty.
Dennis Kennedy was in the vicinity of the pass. The refs called "intentional grounding" based on intent, but every time I've seen that play occur, the ref keep the flag in his pocket. The interception was a desperate toss-up. (I don't think I was the only Zips fan hoping that
Matt Rodgers would stay around for that final drive.)
Running back -- Cincinnati was the first team to stuff Akron at the line. Kennedy and
Joe Tuzze now lead a weakened running back corps.
Andrew Johnson was moving all of his limbs after his injury on fourth-and-1. That does not mean he will be healthy enough to play anytime soon.
J.D. Brookhart will have to look at burning
DeVoe Torrence's redshirt. I think it's a wise idea.
Wide receiver --
Deryn Bowser overcame some early drops to catch 10 balls for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Andre Jones had another solid game, too.
Offensive line -- I think
Tom Gaffney's complimentary article jinxed this crew. Jacquemain was sacked three times. Several shotgun snaps were too high. On running plays, the line got almost no push against Cincinnati's defense. At least there were no holding or false start penalties.
Defensive line -- It is a beautiful thing to limit Cincinnati to 17 points only a week after they dropped 42 on Miami. The defensive line set the pace by plugging holes. No single lineman's statistics stand out, but I remember
Shawn Lemon making important plays, in particular.
Kevin Grant continued his strong season with 11 tackles, including two for a loss.
Mike Thomas and
Doug Williams also played well.
Secondary -- One of the cornerbacks got beat on the 67-yard touchdown. They also gave a big cushion to Cincinnati's receivers, which kept a lot of Bearcat drives rolling. Still, they made some plays.
Bryan Williams is going to be a professional. His tackle on fourth-and-1 proved that to me.
Brandon Anderson and
Miguel Graham each broke up a pass, too.
Special teams -- Yuck.
Igor Iveljic's errant foot cost Akron five points: one missed field goal, a missed extra point, and a missed two-point conversion that the team would not have attempted if the first extra point was good. The roughing the punter penalty kept Akron's defense on the field for almost five more minutes and cost the Zips about 50 yards in field position. What's with Jones taking kickoffs when Bryan Williams was just as close?
John Stec played one of his best games, though. At least the Titanic had a good piano player.
Coaching -- In a close loss, the coaches take more of the blame. In fact, however, Brookhart and Co. should be praised for this close loss. Yes, there are some decisions that, in hindsight, look bad. But the team was well-prepared and gave a great effort. After five games, I'll give Brookhart a 95 percent chance of being back next season.
Next up is Kent State, who suffered another
on Saturday. (I don't know how many more curb-stompings that bird's beak can take.) It's a rivalry game, though, so you can't just assume an easy win. KSU blogger
and I will discuss the game on an Ohio.com video on Tuesday. Watch for that.
Below is a picture of
about to force a fumble in the fourth quarter, courtesy of my classmate