UC received their first real test of the season on Saturday and had some major flaws in their game reveled. This is in and of itself not a surprise. In the second week of the season every team has major flaws that are discovered. Looking at the final score it's easy to make the assumption that Tennessee didn't put a foot wrong and will go on to contend for a division title. But the win overshadowed their inability to run the Football and stop the run in return. Two things that will prevent the Vols from pushing for a divisional crown in the SEC. For the Bearcats this weeks game will provide a much needed chance to regroup. Akron is a terrible team by any conceivable measure. The Zips were 1-11 last season, the first under the guidance of Ianello, who is a Charley Weis protege. And there was nothing even remotely redeemable about the performance of the Zips on the season. If you want more on last years struggles checkout the fine work of Bill Connelly.
As for this years Zips team here is what you should know. They have a depth chart that is heavy on upper class men on the line and very light on experience at the skill positions. They have been out scored 83 to 3 in two games so far and have not come close to crossing the goal line. In short they are aggressively terrible at this kind of Football, much better at the other.
Being a Weis disciple Ianello fields an ostensibly pro style offense. They carry a full back on the roster, two of them in fact, and 7 TEs. The Zips try to establish the run and use the play action passing game to get defenses off balance. But being Akron they can't really accomplish the first task and are woefully unprepared to just drop back and pass. Through 2 games they have allowed 12 sacks and 17 TFL which is objectively terrible. So they can't run and they can't pass. On the year they have just 18 first downs.
Clayton Moore is the QB. He is a former JUCO transfer who won the job over incumbent two year starter Patrick Nicely who can to Akron as a somewhat heralded recruit. You know, for Akron. On the year Moore is hitting on 42.9 percent of his passes with 246 yards zero TDs and 2 picks.
The leading light in the ground game is the awesomely named Freshman Jawon Chisholm. He has 89 yards on 25 carries. His main backup is another Freshman in the form of Karl Bostik. The main target in the passing game is Marquelo Suel with 5 catches and 110 yards. Frankly there isn't a ton to work with here.
The Zips set up in a 4-3. They boast three senior starters along the defensive line. The DT depth chart is nothing but seniors led by Oren Wilson. A one time Mark Dantonio recruit who committed to UC but wound up following Dantonio to Michigan State. He never really made an impact on the field in East Lansing. But he did feature prominently in the MSU Football teams storm the dorm campaign. The most productive of the DLine to date is Dan Marcoux who mans the other DT spot.
At the linebacker position Brian Wagner is the bell weather in the middle. A junior he has started every game since stepping on campus and has been sensationally productive ranking 20th or better nationally in tackles and will enter Sturdays game the national leader in the category. Waggner is a guy with an NFL future. The rest of his mates not so much.
The secondary is a barren wasteland from wence nothing positive comes.
In a sentence the Zips can't kick, they can punt and they do it a lot. They can't return or cover kickoffs, nor can they return or cover punts.
The Final Word
Massacre. If UC doesn't put 40 on the board and end the game by halftime this will be a long season.