2008 Akron Zips Football Preview
Akron Zips - Mid-American Conference (East)
Akron's 2007 Record: (4-8, 3-5 MAC)
2007 Bowl: none
Akron's Head Coach: J.D. Brookhart (22-26 at Akron, 22-26 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Moorhead
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Fleming
Returning Leaders for the Zips:
Other Key Returnees for Akron: G Zack Anderson, LB Kevin Grant, OT Chris Kemme, DT Eric Lively, WR Alphonso Owen, FB Joe Tuzze, G Mike Ward, LB Doug Williams, OT Corey Woods
Key Losses: WR Jabari Arthur, DT Jared Cecchetti, CB Reggie Corner, TE Kris Kasparek, S John Mackey, S Chevin Pace, C Mike Schepp, LB Brion Stokes, CB Davanzo Tate
After a disappointing 4-8 campaign, Akron is shaking things up a little bit. Many of the returning leaders will not be leading the team again…at least in the same category. Running back Bryan Williams, who garnered a team high 728 yards on the ground and is the returning player who had the most receiving yards, is moving to safety. The team’s leading returner in tackles and interceptions, Andre Jones, is moving to the offensive side of the ball to try his luck at wide receiver.
The offense ranked near the bottom of the Mid-American Conference in nearly every major category. That does not sound very promising, but the Zips have a great line to work behind and a ton of potential at the skill positions. Left tackle Chris Kemme is one of the best around and sophomores Mike Ward and Corey Woods should be much improved after being thrown into the starting lineup as freshmen. Senior Dennis Kennedy might get his job back after rushing for 914 yards and nine touchdowns two years ago and getting lost down the depth chart last season. The bruiser can power over people, but it is the speedy transfer from Miami, Andrew Johnson, that has the Zip fans excited. Throw last year’s backup Alex Allen and fullback Joe Tuzze into the mix and Akron has plenty of options.
And they need to the running game to work, since the quarterback situation remains muddled. Chris Jacquemain is the lone returner from the dual quarterback system that did not work last year. Jacquemain has a nice arm, but now that he is an upperclassman, he has to keep the turnovers down and make better decisions. The secondary will have new starters everywhere and is the biggest issue on defense. With Jones moving to wide receiver and former back Williams taking his spot, the experience in the secondary is lacking. For a team that gave up 224.9 passing yards per game last year, it could get worse this time around.
The Bottom Line for the Zips:
However, it might not be so bad if the Zips can get pressure on the quarterback. End Almondo Sewell had a superb freshman year and if he can live up to his new found high expectations, the Zips will spend a lot of time in the opponent’s backfield. There are too many holes to fill for Coach J.D. Brookhart’s squad to win a championship this year, but with a new stadium on the way and a couple great recruiting classes in Akron, the future is bright.
2007 Akron Zips Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 127.83 (90 th in nation, 11 th in conference)
Passing Offense: 183.83 (100, 11)
Total Offense: 311.67 (111, 12)
Scoring Offense: 21.17 (97, 10)
Rushing Defense: 183.75 (88, 7)
Pass Defense: 224.92 (53, 7)
Total Defense: 408.67 (67, 7)
Scoring Defense: 29.17 (75, 6)
Turnover Margin: -.08 (64, 9)
Sacks: 1.75 (81, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (62, 6)
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