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Zips football: Notables related to football schedule

By George Thomas Published: March 1, 2013

From the University of Akron athletic department details related to the Zips football schedule for the fall:

Six home games (five on Saturdays), including matchups with MAC rivals Kent State on Nov. 2 in the annual PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge and Advocare V100 Independence Bowl champion Ohio for Homecoming on Oct. 5.

Each of UA's four home conference games come against teams that competed in a bowl game last season, as did non-league opponent Louisiana-Lafayette (Sept. 21). In addition to Kent State and Ohio, the Zips play host to Ball State (Oct. 26) and Toledo (Nov. 29). The Zips and Rockets will square off on the day after Thanksgiving.

Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member James Madison visits InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field on Sept. 7 in the Zips' home opener.

For the second-straight year, Akron will face the previous season's MAC divisional champions in Kent State (East) and Northern Illinois (West). UA travels to NIU on Oct. 12. The Huskies were the first MAC team to compete in a BCS bowl, taking on Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 1.

Other league road trips include travelling to Bowling Green on Sept. 28, Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 19 and Massachusetts (at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.) on Nov. 16. The Zips will face the Falcons for the second-straight year and RedHawks for the fourth season in a row. UMass is in its second season as a football-only member of the MAC.

The program's trip to Gillete Stadium to face UMass will be the Zips' fourth game played in an NFL stadium since 2007. Akron competed against Temple at the Philadelphia Eagles' Lincoln Financial Field in 2008 and 2011, and took on Army at Cleveland Browns Stadium in 2007 in the inaugural Patriot Bowl.

The Zips open the season on a Thursday night against Central Florida for the second consecutive year (Aug. 29), this time in Orlando. UCF, who competes in the Big East starting in 2013, claimed the Conference USA East Division title last season as well as a victory over MAC member Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.

Non-conference road trip to Big Ten foe Michigan on Sept. 14. The Wolverines, who will play host to the Zips in the "Big House" for the first time, met up with South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.

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