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Podcast: Akron Zips fall practice preview; Cleveland Browns training camp at UA

By Dan Kadar Published: July 31, 2014

Akron Beacon Journal and sports writer George Thomas is today's guest on the podcast. He further breaks down the University of Akron's proposal to get Cleveland Browns training camp in Akron. He also previews Zips fall practice and explains why expectations are higher for head coach Terry Bowden's team.

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MAC Media Day: Heard at Ford Field in Detroit , Mich.

By George Thomas Published: July 23, 2014

Kent coach Paul Haynes on his first year as a coach: “One thing I learned as a new head coach was don’t assume anything,” Haynes said, “and I assumed leadership would just happen.”

Kent coach Paul Haynes on Colin Reardon:  "You just hope he continues to get better like the rest of the quarterbacks in this conference who have the possibility to be a four-year starter.

Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher on people taking shortcuts to  improve their programs in light of coming changes in NCAA governance:  “If you cheat, I hope you get caught and I hope you get fired.”.

Akron Zips linebacker Justin March on this year’s corps: It’s probably the best linebacking corps I’ve been around and since I’ve been at the university.

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MAC football: Akron picked second; Kent State fifth in preseason East Division poll

By Ron Ledgard Published: July 23, 2014

Emailed news release from the University of Akron:

The Akron Zips football team has been tabbed to finish second in the Mid-American Conference East Division by the members of the MAC media, the league office announced on Wednesday prior to its annual Football Media Day at Ford Field.

The Zips earned 114 total points, including three first-place votes, as defending MAC Champion Bowling Green was tabbed as the division favorites. The Falcons earned 144 total points and 18 first-place votes.

Following the Falcons and Zips were Ohio (107), Buffalo (87), Kent State (72), Miami (Ohio) (43) and Massachusetts (23).

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Zips football: Opening thoughts for the '14 season

By George Thomas Published: July 22, 2014

The University of Akron football team find themselves in a situation that’s been missing for the past few seasons – people possess expectations of what the Zips should do in the upcoming season.

As in they are expected to contend for the Mid-American Conference East title this year.  Is that a burden that’s too much to bear?  For a team that won four of its last five games to end the 2013 campaign generating some momentum toward the coming season, no it isn’t.  Part of that comes courtesy of the schedule that the Zips have to navigate to get through the season.

The non-conference schedule (Howard, Penn State, Marshall and Pitt) finds them facing opponents with a combined 30-21 record.   Yes, it’s not a powder puff calendar, but it should provide the team some toughness heading into a MAC schedule (Eastern Michigan, Miami, Ohio, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Massachusetts and Kent State) where their opponents were a combined 42-59.

However, if the Zips are to make that significant leap that everyone expects, there are questions to answer.  Here are the five questions as they prepare to open camp Aug. 1.

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Penn State sets its kickoff time against Akron

By Ron Ledgard Published: July 16, 2014

Here is a news release from the University of Akron concerning its kickoff time against Penn State.

The University of Akron football contest at Penn State on Saturday, Sept. 6, will kick off at noon ET and will air live on ABC Sports (regional) and ESPN/ESPN2 nationally, the Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday.

The trip to Happy Valley will be the fourth for the Zips and the first since Sept. 5, 2009.

Kickoff times and television assignments for the remaining games on UA's 2014 schedule will be announced at a later date.

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Zips football: Buckeyes DE to transfer to University of Akron

By George Thomas Published: July 1, 2014

The University of Akron will welcome another former Ohio State Buckeye to its football team, according to a tweet from the Instagram account of Jamal Marcus.

A junior defensive end from North Carolina, Marcus announced his intent to transfer to UA to continue his college playing career for the Zips.  If this is a typical transfer, he will have to sit for the upcoming season.  UA officials are unable to comment on the situation per NCAA rules.

The 6-foot-1, 243-pound defensive end, played in 11 games for the Buckeyes in his freshman year (2012), primarily on special teams.

He started for the Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl in the place of a suspended Noah Spence and recorded six tackles. He tallied 21 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season, but eventually was dismissed from the team for violating team rules, according to a report from

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