Akron Zips: Dark Horse Or In The Deep End?
By Lana Sache
Terry Bowden, you deserve a hug.
Although you haven’t had much to say in regards to this nonsense, Football.com will take the initiative in your behalf.
Just when you think everything is going your way, something has to go wrong!
One day, Phil Steele is predicting your team to be second in the MAC East this season. The next thing you know, three of your players are suspended after being charged with felonies outside a McDonald’s parking lot.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported on June 12 that running back Bryan Green, safety Johnny Robinson and cornerback Donte Williams were arrested for a brawl and riot outside of a McDonald’s in Akron. They will be suspended at least until their cases are decided in the courts.
Kids, was it really worth it?
Once, these three were the Zips' next star athletes. Now comes the realization about just how easy it may be to pick up the pieces.
Considering that Akron went 5-7 last season, the fact that anyone would predict the Zips to be close to a championship game, or even a bowl game for that matter, is a miracle.
The rest of the team is ready to go. Just ask Akron strength and conditioning coach Matt Gildersleeve, who recently tweeted, “Today is the MAC championship. Tomorrow is the MAC championship. Your last set on Monday is the MAC championship.”
It seems Terry Bowden’ knows the direction to go in when looking at his coaching record at Akron over the past two years.
Robinson and Williams did play in almost every game last season. Williams averaged a team-best 21.8 yards per kick return while Robinson had the most yardage in interception returns. Sounds great, but that's probably the only highlights you will hear about them. Devonte Morgan, another safety, had the same number of tackles as Robinson, and in less playing time.
Williams was a great kick returner, but that is about it. He did not add to the defense. Sophomore Mykel Traylor-Bennett is still around and had twice as many kick returns as Williams, plus Traylor-Bennett is a receiver who had 112 yards in catches last season.
The defense is solid for the Zips, who have some of the best linebackers in the conference, including junior Jatavis Brown, who had a whopping 107 tackles and 57 solos. Akron's defense does lack speed, but Bowden knew that when he recruited 10 defenders with speed out of his 13-player recruiting class.
As for offense, losing Green won't hurt Akron. He was a freshman who hasn’t seen the field. Besides, that is where the Zips shine. Quarterback Kyle Pohl enters this third year. After winning only one game his first seasdon, and five last year, Polh appears ready to put it all together. During the spring game, he completed 11 of 17 passes and converted a few fourth downs.
Behind Pohl is Jawon Chrisholm at running back. Chrisholm gained 938 total yards last season as he was also one of Akron's best receivers with 211 yards in receptions. The Zips also have junior Zach D’orazio, who led in the team in receiving with 567 yards.
The Zips will clearly be fine, regardless of the loss of a few goofballs. Let the haters keep talking, Terry. The drive of your everyday has you covered.