The Central Michigan Chippewas football team will host the Akron Zips at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Saturday as each team enters MAC play.
TV Network: ESPN+ (Chris Vosters, Marcus Ray)
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Akron vs Central Michigan Preview
Akron is still searching for their first win under new head coach Tom Arth. They dropped their opener against the Illinois Fighting Illini 41-3 on the road before falling to the UAB Blazers 31-20 at home a week ago.
The Zips surrendered touchdown passes that went for 76, 49, 28, and 20 yards to UAB.
“They were taking shots downfield and you have to give them credit,” Arth said after the defeat, according to Ohio.com. “They hit it in those situations better than we did.”
He added: “There’s some seasoned guys [in the defensive backfield] who’ve played a lot of college football games. There are some guys who haven’t. But at the end of the day, we’ve gone through fall camp. We’ve been through a game. There’s no freshmen left out there. There’s no excuses and lack of experience. We have to play better.”
Akron redshirt junior quarterback Kato Nelson completed 25 of 44 passes for 359 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also led the team with 13 carries and 31 rushing yards (2.4 yards per carry).
“I think that’s just attitude, just dominating up front, dominating the line of scrimmage,” Nelson said Tuesday of improving the running game, per Ohio.com. “I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we’re not just going to go away from the run game. We’re still going to try to establish the run game and get it going.”
Central Michigan topped the Albany Great Danes 38-21 to open head coach Jim McElwain’s first season at the helm. Then got trounced 61-0 in their visit to the Wisconsin Badgers last week.
Akron vs Central Michigan Live
Starting quarterback Quinten Dormady, a graduate transfer, went 5-of-12 for 36 yards and an interception before exiting the loss with a knee injury. Junior quarterback David Moore will get the starting nod in his place against the Zips.
Senior starting running back Jonathan Ward also got knocked out of the defeat, sustaining a shoulder injury. Sophomore Kobe Lewis will slide up to the first string in his stead for the tilt with Akron.
“Our execution on both offense and defense was one thing that separated us,” sophomore offensive tackle Luke Goedeke said, per Central Michigan Life. “It was one little thing where one step too early or too late makes a big play for them. The second we get out of the showers, the preparation begins all over again. New opponent, new week.”