Monday, July 17, 2006

Season Preview: Akron Zips

Last Season: Akron was 7-6 with some bad loses to Army, Ball State, Central Michigan and a blowout at the hands of Miami University, but they did rebound to win the MAC championship and go on to the Motor City Bowl, which they lost to Memphis.
Outlook: With 16 returning starters there is a lot of hope that Akron will repeat as MAC champs and improve on the 7-6 record. The key to watch for is defense, which should be one of the MAC’s best, and returning QB Luke Getsy.
Returning starters: 8
Key Losses:
RB Brett Biggs (1,230 yds, 10 TD, 65 rec 535 yds)
top receivers Dominek Hixon and Jason Montgomery (combined 123 rec, 1,912 yds, 15 TD)
Key Returnees:
The entire offensive line returns (only 21 sacks in 13 games)
QB Luke Getsy (278-525, 3,455 yds, 23 TD, 12 INT- including 868 yards over the final two games)
Returning starters: 8
Key Losses:
Jay Rohr (leading tackler)
Key Returnees:
DE Jermaine Reid (59 tackles, 7 sacks, 13.5 TFL),
NG Kiki Gonzalez (35 tackles, 1 sack, 7 TFL)
Kevin Grant (73 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 11.5 TFL as a freshman)
4 starters in the secondary of a 3-3-5 defense return to a team that was 16th in the nation in pass defense.
Game Outlook: While Akron will be a good MAC team, this is a must win for Penn State. A close win would be acceptable given this is Morelli's first game leading the offense, but a loss would be devastating (and possible). With upcoming games on the road against Notre Dame and Ohio State a loss could send this season into a death spiral, careening out of control heading for disaster giving the Joe Must Go websites new ammo.
Editor's note: the “Season Preview” articles are an attempt to give PSU fans a quick snippet of information about Penn State’s opponents; nothing more then a quick guide. We will cover every team before the start of the season and link them for future reference. Our predictions for the games will be posted the week of each match-up during the season.


Anonymous said...

If the '04 team could destroy a Charlie Frye-led Akron team, there's no reason to sweat over this one. If the Zips lose by less than two touchdowns, I will be very surprised.

Go back and watch his performance against Central Michigan. That's about what I'm expecting against Akron. However, I don't think the game will be a good test of where Morelli is at at that point. The likelyhood of Paterno showing anything fancy on offense the week before ND is low. I'm guessing we'll see a lot of Tony Hunt and the other tailbacks.

42-17 PSU

Anonymous said...

If you rely on the running game to win, or if you don't have too much confidence in Morelli, keep in mind that akron faced two of the top 5 RBs in the nation (DeAngelo Williams and Garette Wolfe) in the last two games of the season. They have plenty of experience facing run-based teams.

This will be a much tougher than the previous poster thinks. I won't post a prediction because I think it will be a toss-up unless Morelli has an incredible game.

Galen said...

Added an explanation for this article, I fully intend to give a brief synopsis of each team before the start of the season with just the important facts (i.e. win/loss record, returning starters, key losses, etc.). Feel free to post your predictions now, but I have some good ideas for game prognostication involving you the reader. Stay tuned…

Anonymous said...

It's friggin' AKRON!

You must be from the camp of fans who would be satisfied with a 7 or 8 win season if you think Akron is going to give Penn State fits. Morelli won't have to do much because the game should be nearly over by half time. There won't be a reliance on Tony Hunt to win, Paterno just isn't going to show anything the week before the ND game. No matter how much Joe hypes up Akron in his pre-season press conference, he knows Penn State doesn't need to unleash all of the new offensive schemes to pound Akron.

While PSU may need to replace an awful lot, the Zips are without their two best playmakers on offense in Brett Biggs and Domenik Hixon.

We're talking about a team that was shutout by Army last season. I suppose Youngstown State, Illinois and Temple must also have you real worried.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect akron to win either, but I would NEVER completly dismiss a team that was a conference champion last year. This year they actually have some semblance of a defense and their QB is far more than decent. He has already broken many of Charlie Frye's school records. Like I said, I don;t think they will win, but it is absolutly stupid to start looking ahead to bigger games when the game is more than a month and a half away.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Akron has a decent shot at this game. The team is coming off a conference championship and returns 16 starters. JD Brookhardt will have the Zips ready to compete. If Akron can catch PSU sleeping in the beginning of the game. The Zips defense can hold a lead. No prediction expect that the team leading at half will win.

Anonymous said...

Akron has no chance at beating Penn State. I repeat... no chance. Akron lost 6 games last year and they'll lose at least that many this year, with Penn State being one of them. Be advised... neither Penn State's coaching staff nor its players are taking Akron for granted. Only the fans and the media are looking ahead to Notre Dame. As such, expect Penn State to come out focused and ready... and expect the Zips to take a pummeling. Penn State's defense will completely shut down Akron's offense... the pressure on Getsy will be relentless. He better have a pillow strapped to his butt because it's gonna hit the turf more than a dozen times. Again... NO CHANCE.

Galen said...

Anon 10:25AM,

I hope you are right, I think Penn State will beat them by a couple touchdowns, but I never feel comfortable going into the first game until I get a chance to see the team.