Right now Bowden and his brother, wide receivers coach Jeff Bowden, are looking like geniuses for pulling Jerome Lane Jr. from his former primary duties on the defense. It has yielded results in team’s first four games.
In each game in which he’s had a reception this season, he’s had one of 42 yards or longer. The longest came against the Ragin’ Cajuns Saturday when caught a 72-yard TD.
With Louisiana blitzing, quarterback Thomas Woodson found him about 12 yards off the line of scrimmage. Lane reached out, grabbed the ball and raced the rest of the way for the score.
“Finding a place for Jerome probably would have been genius wherever you got him to settle down to play,” Bowden said.To read more or comment...
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, La.
Television/Radio/Internet: ESPN3: Drew Fellios (play-by-play), Forrest Conoly (analyst); Akron-IMG Sports Network: Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) WARF 1350 AM (flagship), WHK 1420 AM, WHKZ 1440 AM; iHeart Radio, TuneIn.com/Akron Zips
Three keys: This game will offer a better representation of what type of team the Akron Zips are. After taking on two Power 5 schools in Oklahoma and Pitt and moving on to a far inferior mid-major in Savannah State, the Sunbelt Conference’s Ragin’ Cajun is more in tune to what the UA program is. The two schools have met one before, a meeting Louisiana won 35-30. Here’s what the Zips need to do to even the score:To read more or comment...
With quarterback Thomas Woodson’s elevation to starting quarterback, caoch Terry Bowden was asked in his Tuesday press conference how fellow sophomore Tra’Von Chapman was handling the situation.
“Chapman’s a competitor. He doesn’t like it. He wants to play,” he said. “He wants to get out there…if things don’t work out, you get up and go again. When your time comes, you need to perform and if you hit a bump in the road, you’ve got to respond to it.”
And the situation will likely get further complicated by Kyle Pohl’s return. He suffered a head injury in the loss to Pitt and missed Saturday’s game, but was able to put in some work today, Bowden said. The coaches don’t know if Pohl will be cleared for action until tomorrow (Wednesday).
Senior kicker Robert Stein is getting off to a rough start in the team’s first three games, connecting on 2-of-4 kicks, including having one blocked against Savannah State that the Tigers returned for a touchdown, giving them a 9-7 lead at the 9:32 mark of the second quarter.To read more or comment...
The University of Akron football team overcame several early miscues to steamroll the Savannah State Tigers 52-9.
The Zips outgained the Tigers 626-202 offensively with sophomore quarterback Thomas Woodson leading the way for most of the game. Woodson connected on 12-of-20 passes for 207 yards and 63 yards rushing on 11 carries. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for another..
Senior noseguard Cody Grice, a converted fullback, rushed for three touchdowns. Senior tailback Conor Hundley rushed for 120 yards on 11carries with one TD.
After a shaky start the UA defense held the Tigers to an average of three yards per play and allowed three of the Tigers’ points.To read more or comment...
Akron Zips (0-2) vs. Savannah State (0-1)
Time: Noon kickoff
Where: InfoCision Stadium
Television/Radio/Internet: ESPN3: Michael Reghi (play-by-play), Jerod Cherry (analyst); Akron-IMG Sports Network: Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) WARF 1350 AM (flagship), WHK 1420 AM, WHKZ 1440 AM; iHeart Radio, TuneIn.com/Akron ZipsTo read more or comment...
Through two relatively lopsided losses, observers of the University of Akron football team have to have noticed that defensive play has been as advertised and expected considering the first two opponents of the season – Oklahoma and Pitt.
In particular, however, the linebacking corps of Jatavis Brown, Dylan Evans and Darryl Monroe, all seniors, stands out. They trio are the top three tacklers on the defense. Brown and Evans rank in the Top 10 in the Mid-American Conference thus far.
“Linebacker play has been pretty crisp,” coach Terry Bowden said during his weekly press conference.
The trio has combined for 64 tackles, including six tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks in two games.To read more or comment...
Senior quarterback Kyle Pohl will sit out Saturday's game against Savannah State at InfoCision Stadium. However, don’t expect sophomore Tra’Von Chapman to be the only signal caller playing against Savannah State Saturday. Fellow sophomore Thomas Woodson will see action, also.
“You have to get two guys getting reps. Woodson's getting a lot of reps,” Bowden said. “ There's a lot of things when you're dealing with Woodson. He's had a lot more at bats with things we do than Tra'Von Chapman, but it gives us two guys who are at least probably more similar in the way they do things.”
Woodson, like Chapman, possesses the ability to pass and run the ball and in the time since he struggled as a starter when Pohl went down last season, Bowden said there’s a difference.
“He hasn't had a chance to show the maturity that he has. Last year he was a redshirt freshman starter there were times we were in games at halftime and we made the first mistake,” Bowden said. “We made the first turnover. We made the first mistake offensively. And that's what you're hoping you'll see from him, some maturity from that standpoint that he understands sometimes it's OK to force something or try to make something happen.”To read more or comment...
The University of Akron men’s soccer team is finally getting some recognition in national polls.
The Zips, leaped from No. 22 to No. 7 in the latest, College Soccer News Top 30 on the strength of victories over ranked teams recently.
The Zips beat No. 6 rated Maryland on their home pitch last Monday and this past weekend notched a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over No. 14 St. Louis at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
UA also landed in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 this week, checking in at No. 11 Wednesday they will play the Ohio State Buckeyes at 7 p.m. at home.To read more or comment...
The rain and dreariness that hung over InfoCision Stadium Saturday doused the Akron Zips literally and figuratively Saturday afternoon as the Pitt Panthers dominated the Akron Zips beating them 24-7 in a game that might leave some scratching their heads. Quite frankly, they left me scratching my head. Some, however, would argue that doesn’t take much. I digress, however.
Three points to ponder:
Coach Terry Bowden is correct. Playing two Power 5 schools - with one seeking revenge [that would be Pitt} is a tough road to haul. But Saturday’s game should have been winnable with decent quarterback play. The defense, although they gave up a huge drive just prior to the end of the first half. With the Zips up 7-3 they allowed the Panthers to march 73 yards on eight plays to take a 10-7 lead. The Zips will continue to rely on that defense the entire season and they are a huge part of the team’s identity. The team’s linebacking unit played like beasts on the evening, combining for 37 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. They held Pitt, a team that scored 45 points last week – granted it was against Youngstown State – to 24 points. Here’s the reality. Two games. Ten points on offense.
When asked if why not leave Kyle Pohl in the game when the offensive unit appeared to respond to him – 62 of the Zips 110 yards on offense came on Pohl’s TD drive – Bowden made a curious statement. He said that he is thinking big picture when it comes to Pohl and Chapman and that he’s not going to lose sight of that. That signals to me that he’s planning to ride this out with Chapman, expecting things to get better as the season goes along.To read more or comment...
On a weekly basis during the non-conference schedule, Ohio.com will attempt to work with a member of the media covering the Akron Zips' opponent. This week's Q&A comes courtesy of Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com
How much of a culture shift has there been for the Panthers since the arrival of Pat Narduzzi? What specifically did he change?
The biggest thing Narduzzi has brought is energy. Where Paul Chryst was a stoic to the point of seeming emotionless, Narduzzi has exuded energy since his introductory press conference. And in the nine months since he was hired as head coach, that energy hasn’t waned; in fact, it increased as his staff picked up on the theme. Whether that carries over to the players - and, more importantly, whether that translates to on-field success - remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a big change.
Describe their philosophy on offense and defense under Narduzzi or has either been truly developed yet?To read more or comment...
Where: 6 p.m.
Where: InfoCision Stadium
Television/Radio/Internet: ESPN3: Michael Reghi (play-by-play), Jerod Cherry (analyst); Akron-IMG Sports Network: Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) WARF 1350 AM (flagship), WHK 1420 AM, WHKZ 1440 AM; iHeart Radio, TuneIn.com/Akron Zips
Three keys:To read more or comment...
After practice Wednesday Akron Zips quarterback Tra’Von Chapman dutifully answered the questions of a Pittsburgh area reporter for a good 20 minutes or so.
In one regard it’s understandable.
He was highly pursued by former Pitt coach Paul Chryst when Chapman played at Kent Roosevelt, eventually signing to attend school and play there. He enrolled in Pitt in January of 2013 after graduating high school early and practiced during the spring.
Though injuries hampered him, he played in the spring football game, Chapman said.To read more or comment...
For those who caught any of the Akron Zips-Oklahoma Sooners game and willingly shelled out up to a $50 pay-per-view fee – yes, that’s a positively ghoulish number – something was evident in that game. Passing wasn’t going to come easy to the Zips offense against the Sooners.
However, what little bit of promise displayed in that area came from the performance of Jerome Lane Jr. The former Firestone High School standout, caught three passes for 57 yards, including a long reception of 42 yards. However, coach Terry Bowden pumped the brakes on praising Lane just yet.
“If Jerome Lane would stay focused and learn his assignments and do the little things, he could be good at any one position on either side of the ball,” Bowden said.
That statement sounds like Lane, who played both football and basketball in high school, leans on talent first and needs to marry what comes naturally with what can be learned off the field. There’s little denying, however, that he has the potential to be explosive from the receiver position.To read more or comment...
Don’t expect the Akron Zips quarterback derby to be over just yet.
In his Tuesday press conference coach Terry Bowden said that the team will prepare for both Kyle Pohl and Tra’Von Chapman for the Pitt Panthers game which kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. and will air on ESPN3. He even added another wrinkle.
“We will probably go week-to-week until we get a pattern of what we want to do, but both guys will get ready to play. [Third stringer] Thomas Woodson isn't far off. He's a combination of both of them.”
All three signal callers played against the Oklahoma Sooners with neither being especially effective as the Zips’ offense could only muster a field goal on the night.To read more or comment...
Akron Zips at Oklahoma Sooners
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.
TV/Radio/Internet: AT&T U-verse 636/1636; DirecTV 787/787.1 and DISH Network 458/469. All pay-per-view, prices vary. NO LOCAL TELEVISION. Radio: WARF (1350-AM) for free at SportsRadio1350.com and on iHeartRadio, TuneIn.com/AkronZips. Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst); and Joe Dunn (sideline) will have the call beginning at 6:30 p.m. Internet view is also pay-per-view only on SoonerSports.tv. Price listed at $54.99To read more or comment...