Akron kept the ballgame close, and the Zips were never run off the field by heavily favored Florida International Panthers.
But it's another home loss for the young Zips by a final score of 27-17.
FIU outgained Akron in yardage, 524 to 262. The Zips stayed closed by forcing two well-timed turnovers.
But it was a pedestrian game for Jawon Chisholm against the Panthers' run defense, which is ranked top 20 in the nation in yards allowed. Clayton Moore was more successful with his feet, but the sophomore quarterback's accuracy was lacking. Brian Wagner talled a career-high 22 tackles (*wow).
This is a game where Akron can legitimately take away positives from the outcome. Akron had a chance to pull within one score with four minutes left in the game. But Moore fumbled, FIU recovered, and the Zips alumni went home disappointed.
It was a weak Homecoming crowd. If you want to be an optimist (and I am an unabashed Pollyanna), the lack of crowd noise allowed you to hear the cheers from the sideline. And the Zips players and coaches were rooting as hard as any of the AK-Rowdies (do they exist for football?).
This tells me that Rob Ianello is nowhere near losing this team's confidence in his long-range plan. As long as that continues to be true, the Zips will improve.
The team has a bye week, and will return against Ohio -- hopefully with a healed offense. It certainly hurts to be missing so many cogs on the offensive line and Marquelo Suel as the top receiver.
Disagree if you want, but Akron looks like a team that can, and will, win a couple of league games this season.