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Zips 41, Howard 0: George Thomas' final thoughts on the victory, swarming defense

By George Thomas Published: August 29, 2014

A few thoughts about the Akron Zips 41-0 win over Howard:

About that swarming defense – yeah, the one that looked like something found in the SEC before they found offense and fell all in love with 41-40 games.  That looked good on an Akron Zips team.   They made great use of their speed to hold the Howard Bison to 216 total yards, all while harassing Bison quarterback Greg Maghee all night.

About this middle linebacker C.J. Mizell:  After the game he looked as if he was ready to go another four quarters and I have little doubt that he could have done so at the level that netted him 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.  Mizell, who sat out last year after transferring, played like a beast on Red Bull.

About that Kyle Pohl mobility:  It’s real, very real.  You never want to have your quarterback lead the team in rushing in any game as Pohl did tonight. However, it’s nice to know that he has the capability to run out of jams and run on designed plays.  “Not all of those were needed scrambles,” he said. “It was just a thing that I wasn’t seeing what I needed to see or wanted to see.” Ultimately, he said he needs to learn to stay in the pocket to make the big throws.

About this sputtering offense – After going up 21-0 after the first quarter, the Zips’ offense slipped into neutral.  To his credit Pohl fell on the sword for the entire unit.  That’s something that a leader does.  Touche. But the reality is that there were problems across the board. “I’ll take full responsibility for that.  I got a little out of sync,” Pohl said.  “I wasn’t standing strong in the pocket. I wasn’t making decisions like I was in that first quarter.”

About what that problem was:  There was a general malaise that permeated the unit the Zips had to shake off.   In post-game interviews – after throwing a career high four TDs in the game – he said he is glad it happened so it forced them to climb out of the rut.  Really all of that second quarter was, it was a wake-up call for us.”

About this wide receiver named Mykel Traylor-Bennett:  Traylor-Bennett arrived with some credentials and more than a touch of attitude last year.  That’s good when you’re backing it up on the field, but he didn’t. He made a mighty impressive four-catch, 89-yard debut Thursday night. More impressive:  he found the end zone twice.“This year I told myself I was going to humble myself up, let my play talk,” he said, “be confident and focused, but just play – go out there and let things happen.”  The play said a lot, but he’s going to have to learn that Bowden’s style isn’t conducive to post-TD celebrations.  Bowden, while offering praise for him, also said he’d have to talk to him about the audition for So You Think You Can Dance?

About that kicking game:  It could have just been freshman nerves but, Tom O’Leary, who beat out last year’s placekicker Robert Stein, had one extra point blocked and missed a chip-shot field goal.  He’s going to have to get better.

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