A couple of unexpected names popped up in the final stats after the University of Akron’s spring game Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.
During practice sessions prior to the game, certain names always stood out, none of them were Dee Frieson or Marquelo Suel.
Both opened some eyes with their respective performances in the spring game. Frieson had the second-most receptions with eight for 86 yards, but Suel proved to be the go-to guy for all three UA quarterbacks.
He caught touchdown passes of 20, 12 and 22 yards from Dalton Williams, Kyle Pohl and Clayton Moore, respectively. He never demonstrated that kind of production during practice.
“Suel’s had an average spring. He was one of the guys we thought we were going to count on,” Bowden said. “I thought he really came on. Maybe he’s a gamer.”
L.T. Smith, a converted safety, lead all receivers with 13 catches for 107 yards.
Getting no kicks
Saturday’s special teams and kicking game, which looked more than a bit ragged, showed exactly what Bowden expected.
On the opening kickoff, Tyler Williams took the ball and raced 97 yards for a touchdown.
“Whoever had a jersey on went out there. We [just] put a bunch of guys there,” Bowden said of the return.
The kicking game, which remains a question mark as the team struggles with consistency and holder issues, hasn’t been installed yet either.
“We immediately have to start working on that,” Bowden said. “Kicking wasn’t put in to see how far we are; it was put in to give the fans more of a game situation.”
Two television cameras tracked Bowden, who was miked for the game. Apparently a TV show involving the coach is close to a definite.
“We’re trying to bring the season with some footage of spring and the operation. I think it’s going to be with our TV show,” Bowden said. “I think we’re set with our television show for next year and we’re looking forward to it.”
Given his 10 years of experience providing in-studio analysis of ABC’s college football games, Bowden should be a natural. The show is expected to air on SportsTime Ohio, the regional cable network.
Athletic department officials are upbeat about the enthusiasm the football program is generating. That excitement is translating into season-ticket sales.
Right now, new season-ticket packages are tracking 43 percent better than this time last yearm, with 1,490 sold. That doesn’t include renewals.
“That’s very encouraging four months before the season,” a spokesman said.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Zips blog at http://www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.