It’s not as sexy as a turnover chain, but the metaphor may be more clever.
That would be a giant No. 2 pencil revealed during the University of Akron football team’s 31-20 loss to the UAB Blazers Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.
The defensive staff came up with that, with particular credit given to coach Oscar Rodriguez Jr., who coaches defensive backs.
“That’s one of the many great strengths he has is just understanding, really, our players and what’s most important,” UA coach Tom Arth said.
As a staff they’ve talked about writing their story as a team.
“For a team whose foundation is built, our team is built on fundamentals, technique,” Arth said. “A No. 2 pencil, what is a greater representation of that? It’s about writing our story. It’s about being in control of your own destiny, realizing that the only people that matter are the people in our program.”
It’s been something the Zips have used at least throughout training camp as motivation and it energizes the defense when they force a turnover, much to the chagrin of the offense.
“They have a whole dance. I don’t know what they do, but it drives us crazy on the offensive side,” he said.
Why? Because it means the defense has gotten the best of the offense on that particular day causing them to turn the ball over.
Against UAB, defensive back Jordyn Riley, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, who’d had a rough afternoon with penalties and getting beat on plays, came up with an interception at 4:19 of the second quarter. Arth said he knew the Blazers were targeting Riley, but was impressed at his resilience.
“Jordyn had a great play and got an interception which really gave us some life,” Arth said. “We’ve got to do a better job of capitalizing on that, playing off of each other. Playing as a team.”
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByGeorgeThomas.