Deryn Bowser, WR – This 6'1", 210-pound wideout from Los Angeles has easily been the Zips' most potent offensive weapon, catching 11 passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns the opening two weeks. His four touchdowns account for two-thirds of the scores by the Akron offense this season, and he's been on the receiving end of all of the Zips' touchdown passes. Bowser is a big, physical wide receiver who spent two seasons at Los Angeles Harbor College before arriving on the Akron campus last fall. As a junior he earned third-team All-MAC honors after posting team-highs of 64 receptions and 785 yards, and he's clearly become the go-to guy for quarterback Chris Jacquemain with the move of Andre Jones to defense.
Andre Jones, S – a starter at free safety as a freshman and sophomore, Jones was moved to wide receiver as a junior and responded with a 47-catch, 678-yard, seven-touchdown season for Coach J.D. Brookhart's squad. Indications were that he was going to remain at wideout for his senior season, but midway through fall camp the Zips' staff approached him about playing in the secondary as well in some situations. A partial defensive role has turned into a full-time responsibility, and he's now made the switch to defense and is once again starting at free safety. He ranks fourth on the team in tackles (9), and has hurt the Hoosiers in the past with his defensive prowess. In the Hoosiers' 41-24 win in 2007, Jones had six tackles and picked off one Kellen Lewis pass as well.
Brian Wagner, LB – He's only a redshirt freshman, but this 6-2, 220-pound linebacker is quickly emerging as the dominant player on the Zips' defense. The Springfield, Ohio, product leads the team in tackles (18) and forced fumbles (2) and shares the team lead in interceptions (1) and sacks (1). He had nine tackles, two forced fumbles and returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown against Morgan State last weekend, although that did all come against a dreadfully inept Morgan State offense. But with that said, Wagner is a terrific athlete who was Ohio's Division VI Defensive Player of the Year as a high school senior. He has a nose for the ball and will be a player that the Hoosiers will have to account for whether they're looking to run it or throw it.
John Stec, P – In a game that figures to be another close one, things could boil down to the special teams. If that's the case, the Hoosiers should have a decided advantage. Stec has loads of experience as a fourth-year punter for the Zips, but he's never put together very good numbers. Stec averaged 38.6 as a freshman, 37.5 as a sophomore and 37.1 as a junior, and he's averaging only 37.1 yards/punt on eight kicks so far this season. During his career he's had three punts blocked and two returned for touchdowns, so a big return from Ray Fisher or a big punt block by Jerimy Finch are possibilities this weekend.
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
AKRON: Four Days and Counting
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