It was Akron's first close game of the year -- not a blow-out one way or another.
But when that's the case, mistakes are magnified.
And Akron committed a few mistakes that took points off the board Saturday in its 31-23 loss at Eastern Michigan. The Zips kicker T.J. Marchese missed a short field goal and later an extra point. Antoine Russell fumbled after catching a pass on the EMU 4-yard line.
Despite pitching away 10 points, Akron was in position to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. At the EMU 30-yard line, Clayton Moore suffered a sack, and threw two incompletions to effectively end the game.
"It certainly was a winnable game," coach Rob Ianello said on the post-game radio show.
Jawon Chisholm had another strong game at running back, particularly going off the right side of the line. He ran for 122 yards and one touchdown. Moore-to-Keith Sconiers continued to be the Zips signature pass hook-up, with the receiver grabbing five passes for 81 yards and Moore's only touchdown.
"If we go out and play like that every Saturday, we'll like more Saturdays than we don't (like)," Ianello said.
Now for some editorializing ... As I said, this was Akron's first close game of the year. After a blow-out, you know how the coach's post-game interviews will go. One coach is going to be on a high, and the other will be angrier than a school teacher about SB5.
But Ianello was quite positive about this loss, albeit a close loss. It gives you an idea of how the coaching staff truly feels about its talent level. If you're truly pleased to be playing close with Eastern Michigan, you deep-down understand that this is not a year where the talent puts you in the middle of the MAC.
Homecoming is next week with Florida International coming to town. I believe you'll see a similar pointspread. Despite all of the praise being heaped on FIU, Akron can play close with these guys.
But the Zips can't afford the big errors if they hope to win.