AKRON: Five Days and Counting

Hoosier Nation begins its day-by-day preview of Saturday's match-up with Akron (0-3). Today, we look at five numbers to note about the Big Ten vs. Mid-America Conference battle...

242.3 – yards of total offense per game this season by Akron, which ranks 117th out of 120 FBS teams. The Zips have been equally inept running the ball (115.3/game, 99th) and passing it (127.0, 111th), and as a result are averaging only 16.7 points per game. Most of that point production came in a 38-37 double overtime loss Gardner-Webb two weeks ago. In lopsided losses to Syracuse (29-3) and Kentucky (47-10), Akron went 26 straight drives without scoring an offensive touchdown. That drought ended on the final possession against Kentucky's reserves on Saturday.

40 – the completion percentage for Akron quarterback Patrick Nicely this season. The second-year starter has completed only 30-of-75 throws this season, a significant drop-off from a season ago when he completed 120-of-222 throws (54.0 percent) and six touchdowns as a true freshman. As woeful as Nicely's numbers have been overall, they're even worse against the two FBS teams Akron has played to date. Nicely started off the season with a 12-of-35, 111-yard effort against Syracuse, and followed that up with a dismal 4-of-19, 57-yard effort on Saturday against Kentucky. Nicely was replaced by Matt Rodgers on the final two drives against Kentucky, which resulted Akron's only touchdown.

2 – wins for Indiana's four non-conference foes to date this season compared to 10 losses. Western Kentucky (0-3) and Akron (0-3) remain winless, while Towson (1-2) and Arkansas State (1-2) each have a win over a FCS (formerly I-AA) team. Towson went five overtimes Sept. 11 to top Coastal Carolina 47-45 behind four touchdowns from QB Chris Hart, while Arkansas State posted a 34-20 win over Louisiana Monroe Saturday. According to one power rankings site, Arkansas State is ranked 107th among the 120 FBS programs, Akron No. 115 and Western Kentucky No. 119.

17 – receptions for Damarlo Belcher in the season's first two games. The Hoosiers' 6'5" junior followed up his 7-catch, 92-yard effort against Towson with an even better 10-reception, 135-yard afternoon against Western Kentucky. Those two performances have the Ft. Wayne product ranked sixth nationally in receptions per game (8.5) and eighth in receiving yards per game (113.5). He easily leads the Big Ten in both categories – IU teammate Terrance Turner is second in receptions/game (5.5), while Northwestern's Jeremy Ebert is a distant second in receiving yards/game at 82.3.

0 – interceptions for IU quarterback Ben Chappell through the first two games. A year ago Chappell's 15 interceptions were the most of any Big Ten quarterback, and he threw at least one interception in nine of IU's 12 games. But he's made a marked improvement in that category to date, with no interceptions in 65 attempts. Thus far Chappell has completed 48-of-65 throws (73.9 percent) for 548 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers not only have IU off to a 2-0 start, but also have Chappell ranked among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency (9th), passing yards (18th) and total offense (23rd). His completion percentage ranks fourth nationally, trailing only Northwestern's Dan Persa (81.6), Arizona's Nick Foles (78.6) and TCU's Andy Dalton (74.7).

Coming Up
On Sunday – Five Numbers to Note
On Monday – Four Names to Know
On Tuesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Wednesday – Two Big Concerns
On Thursday – One Bold Prediction

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