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University of Akron Zips blog

The morning after

By mrasor Published: November 14, 2009

Football
Another week. Another beatdown.
Akron started with a loud burst of energy, which eventually dwindled to a soft hum. Any team can come out of the locker room with adrenaline and make noise. It is the disciplined, smart team, however, that sustains the momentum and plays for four quarters.
As a result, Temple scored 49 unanswered points. I don't think you'll ever see such a statistic in a game between two MAC teams.
Despite all of that, Patrick Nicely looked very sharp in the first half. I love the velocity at which he delivers the ball. Arms like Nicely's are rare. His accuracy has improved each week. It's such a relief that we don't have to worry about a quarterback for the next three years.
Overall, the offense and special teams made big mistakes. Temple took advantage by marching over the Zips defense, which had become demoralized. Before you knew it, a 17-7 lead turned into a 56-17 blowout.
This season has been disappointing. But until yesterday, I always saw the players fighting hard. Last night, I didn't see that. On Temple's extra point attempt before the half, Akron's line barely came out of their stance to contest the kick.
It doesn't matter if there is one year or five years on J.D. Brookhart's contract. When you invest $60 million into a facility that only one team will use (for the most part), you better go the extra mile and pay an extra $400,000 to get a coach with a track record of success. I hope that is one thing the board of trustees realizes.
We knew that attendance would be better this year. Most people understand that winning games is what puts butts in the seats in November, when the weather normally sours. Akron has had great luck with fantastic weather every week. Everything has been in place for a packed InfoCision Stadium except for the product on the field.
We are in our fourth consecutive season of a losing record. Every year, there have been injuries, adversity and a realm of other excuses. I buy Brookhart's excuses. Like I said, however, excuses can pass for a year or two. Eventually, the accountability falls on the coach, who serves as lead scout, general manager, head strategist, chief motivator, manager of personnel and sometimes the play caller.
Akron plays two more games this season -- the season that seems like it will never end. Next week, the Zips are at Bowling Green. The Falcons do through the air what Temple does on the ground. The Tyler Sheehan-to-Freddie Barnes combination might be the nation's most productive.
Then Akron finishes the year at home against Eastern Michigan. It will be two of FBS's worst teams playing on a Friday at 2 p.m. in late November. If actual attendance breaks 5,000, I will be surprised. Go Zips.
Men's basketball
Humpty Hitchens was named an honorable mention All-American for mid-major schools, according to CollegeInsider.com.
Rodney Pierce of Buffalo, David Kool of Western Michigan and Jarrod Jones of Ball State are on the list as All-Americans. (I am looking forward to the Jones vs. Zeke Marshall matchup.)
The Zips will begin the regular season tomorrow vs. Austin Peay at 2 p.m. I will liveblog from Rhodes Arena.

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