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University of Akron Zips blog

The morning after

By mrasor Published: September 27, 2009

I only saw two-thirds of this game because my friend was getting married, but I'll opine where I can. You can add comments below to fill in some gaps.

    Quarterback -- CMU giftwrapped some opportunities for the Zips through penalties and turnovers. Without those, Akron might not have scored. I think it's important to be patient with Matt Rodgers, a starter for two games who is constantly being chased out of the pocket. Someone needs to tell him that taking a sack in the pocket isn't the end of the world. Being frantic and unsettled in the pocket, however, affects every snap. Comfort can come with time. The other reason for patience is that there is no guarantee that the Zips will get better results with Patrick Nicely. Remember, Nicely too would play behind a line that is blocking like Charmin. Grade: D+
    Running back -- Why did it take so long for Joe Tuzze to get more carries? Throughout his career, he has consistently provided four yards per carry. Tuzze is not flashy and won't outrun too many people, but if you want to sustain a drive, I'd rather have Tuzze, who plows his own holes rather than waiting for the offensive line to create one, and we have seen that is rare. (Wow, that's a run-on sentence.) He ran for 62 yards on 12 carries. Grade: B
    Wide receiver -- It is nice to see a couple new receivers leading the team: Jeremy LaFrance and Anthony Meriwether. Deryn Bowser only caught one ball for six yards. Grade: C
    Offensive line -- CMU sacked Rodgers five times. On five carries, Norman Shuford gained only 11 yards. Because Shuford is a smaller back who needs a hole to get going, his lack of success is a good indication that the offensive line turned in another poor performance. One player told me that the difference between the running game this year and last year is Dennis Kennedy. I don't believe it. Last year's line made three different backs look great. This year's line is making everyone look awful. Grade: D
    Defensive line -- The Zips did an OK job plugging the middle. Once again, we have a zero-sack day. Why can't I root for a team that rushes the passer? Is that too much to ask? Grade: C
    Linebacker -- How good is Brian Wagner? He made more solo tackles (10) than anyone else on the field tallied in total tackles (eight). Along with 16 total tackles, Wagner added another interception. I am disappointed, however, in how poorly the Zips defended CMU's diverse running attack. Your linebackers are responsible for policing the runs toward the sideline -- particularly in a 3-4. The Chips ran for 326 yards on the ground. Grade: C-
    Secondary -- Keeping Dan LeFevour under 200 yards passing is an accomplishment, considering Diamond Weaver and Miguel Graham did not play most of the game. Once again, the swing passes were very effective method for the opponent to move the chains. Grade: C
    Special teams -- John Stec and Zack Campbell punted well. Dashan Miller had a 67-yard kick return. The coverage unit did a nice job against the dangerous Antonio Brown. The only negative play was a momentum changer -- Igor Iveljic's blocked field goal attempt on the first drive of the game. Grade: B
    Coaching -- How do you go 1-for-12 on third down? The Zips have gone 5-of-33 against Division I-A teams this year. Without sustaining a drive, you will find that your defense gets worn out. How is this possible with Shane Montgomery and Walt Harris holding the reigns? The problem stems from the offensive line. J.D. Brookhart promised that will change. ... After a lot of thinking, I don't believe it would be the right decision to remove Brookhart in the middle of the season. The Zips have played three good teams and got blown out three times (Indiana nearly beat No. 23 Michigan yesterday). It has been ugly, though, particularly considering the off-the-field news. The only reason to replace your coach at this juncture, in my opinion, is if the team has lost its respect for him. I don't think that is close to happening. ... The bye week comes at a good time for injuries to heal. The Zips can restructure parts of the depth chart. Grade: D
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