Football Kicks Off Two-Game Homestand Saturday Versus Ball State

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Pregame Coverage:
Ball State at Akron Game Notes in PDF Format
Terry Bowden – Ball State Week Press Conference Video
Terry Bowden – MAC Weekly Media Teleconference Audio
MAC Weekly – Oct. 21

Gameday Coverage:
Listen to Free Audio Stream (SportsRadio1350.com)
Watch on ESPN3
Follow Free Live Statistics

GAME 9

Ball State (7-1, 4-0 MAC) at Akron (2-6, 1-3 MAC)


Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
Noon ET
Akron, Ohio
InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (30,000)

Television: ESPN Regional, ESPN Game Plan, ESPN3 – Michael Reghi (play-by-play) and Doug Graber (analyst).

MAC ESPN Regional TV Affiliates List: Chicago-WPWR, Detroit-WXYZ, Cleveland-WEWS, Indianapolis-WRTV, Columbus-WWHO, Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek-WZZM, Buffalo-WNYO, Dayton-WKEF, Toledo-WTVG, South Bend/Elkhart-WMYS, Youngstown-WYTV (DT2), Springfield/Holyoke-WGGB (DT2), Lansing-WHTV, Rockford-WTVO (DT2), Wheeling-Steubenville-WTOV (DT2).

Live Statistics: Available free of charge via GoZips.com.

Radio: Akron-IMG Sports Network – SportsRadio 1350 AM (WARF) in Akron (flagship), 1420 WHK in Cleveland, 1440 WHKZ in Warren/Youngstown. Steve French (play-by-play), Brad Detwiler (analyst), Joe Dunn (sideline) (11 a.m. ET airtime). Free audio stream at SportsRadio1350.com.

Akron Coach Terry Bowden (West Virginia, 1978): Is in his second season at the helm for the Zips and his 20th campaign as a collegiate head coach, owning a 143-79-2 record (3-17 at Akron). He was named the program's 27th all-time coach on Dec. 22, 2011, but is just the seventh person to hold the position since 1960. This is his first time facing Ball State.

The Series: Saturday marks the 21st all-time meeting between the Zips and Cardinals on the gridiron. Akron leads the series 10-9-1, but Ball State has won three-straight matchups dating to 2005. The two programs face off for the first time since Nov. 6, 2010, a game BSU took 37-30 in triple overtime in Muncie. The Zips are 4-5 when playing at home, with the Cardinals winning during their last visit to UA, 41-24, on Sept. 13, 2008.
 
Up Next: UA plays host to rival Kent State in the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge on Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Streaks, Storylines, Sidebars
• Akron (2-6, 1-3 MAC) faces Mid-American Conference cross-divisional opponent Ball State (7-1, 4-0 MAC) Saturday at noon ET at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. The contest will be televised regionally by ESPN, and also will be available on ESPN Game Plan and ESPN3.
• The Zips look to put an end to the Cardinals three-game win streak in a series that Akron leads 10-9-1 (UA is 4-5 in the series when playing in Akron). The programs meet for the first time since Nov. 6, 2010, when BSU claimed a 37-30 triple overtime contest in Muncie.
• Ball State makes its first appearance at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field.
• Counting Saturday's game against Ball State, three of the Zips' last four games are at home. After a Nov. 2 home contest against neighborhood rival Kent State as part of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge, UA will get a bye week. A game on Nov. 16 at UMass is next, followed by another week off and the season finale at home against Toledo on Nov. 29 (day after Thanksgiving).
• UA closed out a two-game road swing with a 24-17 win at Miami (Ohio) last Saturday. Led by junior RB Jawon Chisholm's three rushing TDs and 86 yards on the ground, the Zips snapped a 30-game road losing streak that dated to 2008 and a 28-game losing skid to FBS opponents that went back to 2010. Additionally, it was the first time UA won in Oxford since 1939.
• Chisholm is responsible for five of the Zips' last six touchdowns (all rushing). He had three at Miami (Oct. 19) and two at Northern Illinois (Oct. 12). The other score came on an 11-yard pass by sophomore QB Kyle Pohl to sophomore WR Tyrell Goodman in the fourth quarter at NIU.
• Sophomore WR Andrew Pratt is the reigning MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week. He blocked a punt to set up the Zips' first score of the day at Miami last Saturday. It is the second-straight week a UA player earned the league's special teams award. Sophomore P Zach Paul was the recipient for the week prior.
• Pratt's blocked punt at Miami last Saturday came after the Zips blocked two field goals versus Northern Illinois (Oct. 12). Senior S Anthony Holmes and junior LB Nick Rossi were responsible for those, the first of their careers. The team's three blocked kicks is tied for second nationally.

Strength of Schedule
• Counting Ball State, the combined overall reocord of the Zips' first nine opponents this season is 44-18. Miami (Ohio) is the only one with a losing record (0-7). The other eight have won at least four games each.
• Three of Akron's 2013 opponents are listed in the BCS standings – Northern Illinois (18), Michigan (22) and UCF (23).
• Akron lost by a combined 11 points to nationally-ranked foes Michigan (Sept. 14) and Northern Illinois (Oct. 12), both on the road (28-24 loss at Michigan; 27-20 loss at Northern Illinois).
• Ball State represents the seventh opponent for Akron this year that competed in a bowl game at the end of the 2012 season. In all, the Zips will face nine teams this year that played in a bowl a season ago (six of its eight MAC foes).
• Akron is the only team to face last year's top-three finishers in the MAC's East and West divisions.

News, Notes, Trends
• Akron has recorded 23 sacks, second most in the MAC this year behind Buffalo's 24. Fourteen of those have come during league play. The Zips posted a season-high six sacks twice (at Miami on Oct. 19; at Bowling Green on Sept. 28). UA had 16 sacks total in 2012.
• The Zips' 2.88 sack-per-game average is fourth in the MAC and 16th nationally.
• The Zips' 6.5 tackles-for-loss per game ranks second in the MAC and 37th in the country. The team posted seven TFLs and forced 32 yards lost at Miami last Saturday.
• On kickoffs, Akron is holding opponents to 18.82 yards per return (26th in the nation, fourth in the league). The Zips rank 27th nationally and second in the MAC in net punting (39.20 ypp).
• UA's roster features two fifth-year senior transfers in DT Moses McCray (Florida State) and OG Henry Orelus (Florida State). Additionally, OT Zenel Demhasaj, a transfer from Pittsburgh, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. All three are regulars in the starting lineup.
• This is year five for Akron playing on-campus in InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. The Zips have a 7-20 record at the venue (1-2 in 2013).

Player Notables – Offense
• For the third-straight year UA entered the season with a new starting quarterback. Sophomore Kyle Pohl has been the starter in all eight games and is 162-of-286 passing for 1,662 yards and nine touchdowns (23-of-32 passing, 227 yards and zero INTs at Miami on Oct. 19).
• Pohl's 20.25 completions per game ranks second in the MAC (27th nationally) behind Ball State's Keith Wenning (23.63). Pohl's 1,662 passing yards is the third most in the league and 30th highest in the country.
• Junior RB Jawon Chisholm's 2,357 career rushing yards ranks ninth in UA history (506 carries). His 10 career 100-yard rushing games ties as the 12th most nationally among active players. He does not have a 100-yard game this year.
• Chisholm has rushed for a team-high 443 yards and six TDs off 108 carries this season, and his 19 catches are the third most on the team (142 receiving yards). He had 16 carries for 86 yards and three rushing TDs to go with one catch for 18 yards at Miami (Oct. 19). Chisholm leads the squad in all-purpose yards as well, with 585.
• Sophomore RB Conor Hundley is second on the squad in rushing yardage, with 284 off 65 attempts. Only four of his carries have resulted in lost yardage (three for -1 yard, one for -2 yards).
• Sophomore WR Zach D'Orazio leads the team in touchdown catches (four), total catches (30) and receiving yards (390). He had a season long reception of 77 yards for a TD against Louisiana (Sept. 21) (14th-longest pass play in school history). He has combined for 11 catches in the last two games (season-high seven receptions for 88 yards at Miami last Saturday).
• Freshman WR Fransohn Bickley, has 26 grabs for 234 yards this season (both second most on the team). He also returns kickoffs (10 returns for 166 yards, with a long of 26 yards).
• Fifteen different UA players have caught at least one pass this year. Seven different players have made at least one touchdown catch.

Player Notables – Defense
• Junior LB Jatavis Brown leads the Zips with 51 tackles, including a team-best 36 solo stops. He has five tackles-for-loss and two sacks to his credit this season. He had seven tackles (five solo) and one sack versus Miami (Oct. 19).
• Senior DT Nico Caponi leads the defense with 6.0 sacks and his 0.9 spg ranks second in the conference and 14th nationally. Eleven of his 13 total tackles this season are unassisted. He has also forced two fumbles this season. He had two sacks at Miami last Saturday.
• Junior LB Justin March paces the team with three interceptions this season (two at Michigan on Sept. 14, one returned 27 yards for a TD). His 0.4 INTs per game rank fifth in the MAC. March's 47 tackles (30 solo) is third most on the team. He had seven tackles, four unassisted, versus Miami (Oct. 19).
• Senior CB Malachi Freeman is third on the squad with 46 tackles (31 solo). He has made a team-best eight pass breakups to go with one interception (versus Ohio on Oct. 5). He had four tackles (three solo) versus Miami (Oct. 19).
• Senior DE Albert Presley is responsible for a team-best 6.5 tackles-for-loss to go with 4.5 sacks. His one forced fumble and one fumble recovery this season is complimented by 27 tackles (17 unassisted).
• Senior DE C.J. James, who has 3.5 sacks and 6.0 tackles-for-loss, has sat out the last three games due to an NCAA eligibility issue.

Player Notables – Special Teams
• Sophomore P Zach Paul's 44.7 yards-per-punt ranks second in the MAC and 11th nationally. He has two season-long punts of 65 yards. Last Saturday at Miami, he punted three times for an average of 52.0 yards (long of 56).
• Paul was named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 14, after he had nine punts for an average or 45.7 yards versus Northern Illinois (Oct. 12). Thirteen of his 45 punts this season have been fair caught, 12 have landed inside the 20-yard line and 15 have gone 50-plus yards.
• Sophomore PK Robert Stein made a school record 51-consecutive point-after attempts, before having one blocked at Northern Illinois (Oct. 12). He is 19-for-20 on PATs this season and has converted 4-of-10 field goal attempts.
• Stein surpassed the previous school record of 49-consecutive PATs made, that was set by UA Hall of Famer Russ Klaus from 1984-85.