Akron scorched Binghamton last season, 90-55. Coach Al Walker called it an "old-fashioned butt whipping."
It was one of the first games where Jeremiah Wood looked like his old self.
Walker is gone, replaced by Kevin Broadus, who came from Georgetown as one of the nation's most touted assistant coaches.
The Bearcats return a lot of their scorers from last season, particularly the backcourt tandem of Richard Forbes and Mike Gordon. The Zips set out to limit them last year and did.
The teams will play at 7 tonight at Rhodes Arena.
The Bearcats biggest weakness this season has been interior defense. Opponents are shooting 50 percent. Also, Binghamton is getting beaten on the boards by more than 9 rebounds per night.
Wood and Quade Milum might combine for 40 points in this blowout.
Prediction: Akron 79, Binghamton 59
From what I hear, the report about J.D. Brookhart being replaced is either premature or untrue. There was no team meeting this morning, unlike the comment under my previous post says. One player told me he thinks the rumor is bogus and nobody has been told anything about Brookhart.
If it's true, I doubt any announcement would be made until James Madison finishes its run in the D-IAA playoffs. They're playing Appalachian State today.
For now, here are my grades...
Chris Jacquemain didn't play that poorly considering the conditions. The amount of dropped passes certainly hurt his stats, too. But then you have to consider that he might have been going against the worst pass defense in the nation.
Running back -- Last week, it was
Alex Allen. This week, it was
Bryan Williams. He didn't seem to have many holes during the game, but when he did, it was six points.
Wide receiver -- There were at least five dropped passes. I know it's cold, but you play in Akron. You should be used to it.
Jabari Arthur finished his career as the most dominant receiver in Akron history. Just think if he had someone to pass him the ball. It made me smile to read that he kissed the turf after the end of the game. You won't find another player with his combination of appreciation for the game, humility and talent.
Grade: A+ (only out of respect for Mr. Arthur)
Tight end --
Kris Kasparek and
Merce Poindexter were part of the offense for once. Each caught two balls. Kasparek's career started promisingly, but faded with a slew of dropped passes. He still has the body and blocking ability to make a practice squad somewhere.
Offensive line -- The line took a step back in run and pass blocking. CMU sacked Jacquemain three times and forced him from the pocket on other occasions. The run blocking was average at best. However, this unit is the most improved on the team. It should set the foundation for the next three years. Now if only we can find a quarterback...
Defensive line -- The stats are pretty bare.
Almondo Sewell led the line with five tackles. He will make a fine defensive end when (hopefully) Akron goes to a 4-3 defense.
Ontario Sneed broke a lot of tackles. It was a mediocre performance at best.
Secondary -- This is the unit that kept Akron in the game. You better credit the emotional leader for that.
John Mackey's torn knee was aching in the cold, but he played anyhow.
Davanzo Tate made 10 tackles.
Andre Jones made the play of the game by forcing a fumble and taking it for a touchdown.
Reggie Corner intercepted a pass and broke up four others.
Miguel Graham had an interception.
Chevin Pace had the best game of his career, too.
Grade: A+ (partly out of respect to Mr. Mackey)
John Stec pinned the Chippewas inside the 20 three times. His 36.4 yard average is low because of a couple duds.
Igor Iveljic never got a chance to kick the blown extra point that ended up costing the Zips the game. If the hold was good, Akron never goes for two later in the game. Then CMU never goes for two after its final score. There is your three point margin.
Coaching -- Some people believe Brookhart coached his last game at Akron. I sincerely hope that's not true. Building a program takes time. The Zips struck fool's gold in 2005. If
Mack Rhoades fires Brookhart, that might be the reason. Brookhart has made mistakes throughout his tenure, but he has learned from them. I hope all the fans understand that this team EASILY could be 8-4 if Akron only had a quarterback. The other parts of the team get passing grades from me, but the QB play was atrocious. Ultimately, that falls on the coach's shoulders. I understand that. I also understand that you need continuity to build a program. It's easy to look around the nation and see where patience has paid off. Some people have suggested that Rhoades might want "his own guy" as coach. What sense does that make? Athletic directors have the loyalty of hookers nowadays in college athletics. If we allow Rhoades to have "his guy," what happens when Rhoades bolts to another school? Then another AD comes in and wants a new "his guy." It will be an outright shame if
Luis Proenza were to allow that. Brookhart has suffered from bad quarterback play, a loss of great assistant coaches and unrealistic expectations stemming from 2005. I don't pity Brookhart if he gets fired. He would find a new job (probably in the NFL) that pays more than Akron. I pity the program which needs continuity from a good leader.