Zips Host Howard in Season Opener on Thursday at 7 PM

Follow Akron Football on Twitter and Facebook  |  Buy Tickets


Pregame Coverage:
Howard at Akron Game Notes in PDF Format
Terry Bowden – Howard Week Press Conference Video
Terry Bowden – MAC Weekly Media Teleconference Audio
MAC Weekly – August 25

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

 

Game 1:  Howard (0-0) at Akron (0-0)
Thursday, August 28
InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field (30,000)
Akron, Ohio
7 p.m.

 

THIS WEEK
Akron opens its 114th season of football in non-conference action against Howard on Thursday, Aug. 28. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field.

ESPN3 will broadcast the game live online with Michael Reghi calling the action and Jerod Cherry providing color commentary.

The Zips' radio broadcast will air on the Akron-IMG Sports Network [SportsRadio 1350 AM (WARF) in Akron (flagship), 1420 WHK in Cleveland, 1440 WHKZ in Warren/Youngstown] with Steve French calling the action, Brad Detwiler providing analysis, and Joe Dunn with sideline report. The pregame show starts at 6 p.m. ET. A free audio stream is available at SportsRadio1350.com.

Under the guidance of third-year head coach Terry Bowden, the 2014 Akron squad returns 48 lettermen, including 14 starters. The Zips utilize a spread offense and a 4-3 defense.

In season openers, Bowden is 0-2 at Akron. However, he is 1-1 in home openers, claiming a 35-33 win over James Madison last fall.

In the final 2013 national rankings, Akron was ranked among the nation's Top 25 in five categories, including No. 1 in blocked punts allowed (0), No. 10 in blocked kicks (4), No. 11 in kickoff return defense (18.36), No. 18 in blocked punts (1). Individually, junior P/K Zach Paul (Broadview Heights, Ohio) was No. 30 in punting (42.9), while junior LB Jatavis Brown (Belle Glade, Fla.) was No. 37 in total tackles (8.9). Junior QB Kyle Pohl (Farmersville, Ohio) ranked in numerous categories, including No. 39 in completions (18.75) and No. 68 in total offense (211.2).

Howard, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), is under the tutelage of third-year head coach Gary Harrell, who returns to the sidelines this fall after a year's absence. The Bison return 11 starters to their multiple offense and 4-3 defense.

AKRON-HOWARD CONNECTIONS
Akron has no players from Washington, D.C. The Zips' roster does sport two players from the metro area—sophomore CB DeAndre Scott (Frederick, Md.) and sophomore OL Rodney Carroll (Orange, Va.).

Howard has no players from Ohio on its roster. Senior QB Greg McGhee (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is the one who lives closest to Akron.

AKRON-HOWARD—THE SERIES
Thursday's game marks just the second meeting between the Zips and Bison.

In the teams' first meeting on Sept. 20, 2003, Akron racked up a 65-7 win at the Rubber Bowl. The 65 points tied the record for points scored at the Rubber Bowl. The Zips scored 48 points in the first half alone.

QB Charlie Frye passed for 219 yards and accounted for three touchdowns in a 35-point first quarter. He gave way to back-up signal caller Micah Faler in the second half.

Bobby Hendry rushed for 126 yards and scores of the Akron's five rushing TDs. The Zips totaled a school record 692 yards of offense while holding the Bison to 233.

SERIES INFORMATION
Akron all-time vs. Howard: 1-0
Akron in games at Akron: 1-0
Akron in game at Howard: 0-0
Akron in games at a neutral site: 0-0
First meeting in series: 2003, at Rubber Bowl, W, 65-7
Last meeting in series: 2003, at Rubber Bowl, W, 65-7

SERIES HIGHS
Akron Zips
Rushing: Bobby Hendry, 14-126, 1 TD (2003)
Passing: Charlie Frye, 21-30-0-219, 2 TDs (2003)
Receiving: Matt Cherry, 6-67 (2003)

Howard Bison
Rushing: Rutherford, 11-63 (2003)
Passing: Moreno, 16-29-2-115 (2003)
Receiving: Brewer, 5-30 (2003)

Year Site Result Akron Coach Howard Coach
2003 Rubber Bowl W, 6-57 Lee Owens Rayford T. Petty


ZIPS QUICK HITS

  • Six of Akron's 2014 opponents—Marshall (Military), Pittsburgh (Little Caesars Pizza), Ohio (Beef 'O' Brady's), Ball State (GoDaddy), Bowling Green (Little Caesars Pizza), and Buffalo (Famous Idaho Potato)— participated in bowls in 2013.
  • This is Akron's sixth season playing on-campus in InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. The Zips have a 9-21 record at the venue (3-3 in 2013). The stadium opened in 2009.
  • Only one Zips' alum is playing in the NFL this season. LB Chase Blackburn (2001-04) enters his 10th season in the pros and second season with the Carolina Panthers.

AIRING IT OUT
Akron's returning wide receivers rank among the nation's Top 10 corps in four categories.
The Zips lead the nation with the highest percentage of receptions returning with 96.6.

In career receptions, the Zips rank No. 5 with 371 receptions. Washington State holds the top spot with 546. In career receiving yards, UA stands No. 5 with 4,449. UCF is first with 7,164. In career receiving touchdowns, Akron is tied for eighth with 28. Washington State is first with 47.

PRESEASON HONORS
Junior QB Kyle Pohl is one of a record-setting 182 nominees for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The nominee list includes 90 student-athletes from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and 92 student-athletes from a combination of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III, and NAIA levels.

Pohl has been one of the most active members of the Akron football team, while coordinating and participating in a number of community service events. He consistently coordinates events that allow our student-athletes to participate in community service, mainly through hospital and school visits. He has been a major part in the Zips' visitation program at Akron Children's Hospital, as well as donating his free time in order to spend time with kids of all ages.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has served as one of the most coveted and prestigious off-the-field honors in college football. The award recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes participating in the sport.

WATCH LIST
For the second consecutive year, junior P Zach Paul has been named one of 25 preseason candidates for the 2014 Ray Guy Award which honors the nation's top collegiate punter.

Last year, Paul was named third-team All-Mid-American Conference after averaging 42.9 yards per punt (65 punts), including 15 punts of 50-plus yards. He finished the season ranked sixth in the MAC and 30th nationally in punting average (42.9 ypp), while helping the Zips finish second in the MAC and 31st nationally in net punting as a team (38.18 ypp).

Paul also earned MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week on October 14 after averaging 45.7 yards per punt (nine punts) at Northern Illinois (October 12). He recorded one 60-yard punt, two touchbacks and two punts inside the NIU 20-yard line.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Akron was selected to finish second in the Mid-American Conference East Division this fall by the media behind Bowling Green. Following the Falcons and Zips were Ohio, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), and Massachusetts.

In the West Division, Toledo was selected as the favorite by a slim four-point margin over Northern Illinois.

The 2014 MAC Championship Game is slated for Friday, Dec. 5 at Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
As most MAC football fans know, MAC football teams will play anytime. This season five of Akron's 12 regular-season games will not be played on Saturday. The Zips' opener against Howard is a Thursday night tilt, while all four games in November will be played on Tuesday evening. Six of 12 games are night games (five kickoff times still undetermined).

HITTING THE AIRWAVES
A minimum of six Akron football games will be televised nationally this season: Howard (ESPN3), at Penn State (ABC/ESPN), Bowling Green (ESPN2/U), at Buffalo (ESPN2/U), Massachusetts (ESPNU/3), and at Kent State (ESPN2/3).

CAPTAINS
Akron will select game captains for each game throughout the season. The players will vote on their permanent team captains at the conclusion of the season.

UP NEXT
Akron travels to Penn State on Sept. 6 for a Noon game at Beaver Stadium. ABC/ESPN will televise the game live regionally. Following a bye week, the Zips return home to InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field on Saturday, Sept. 20 to host Marshall. Kickoff time has not been announced. Check GoZips.com for kickoff times.