Ohio State has lost one time to the collective current members of the Mid-American Conference. That single loss occurred Sept. 5, 1894, at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. The Buckeyes lost 12-6 to a team coached and quarterbacked by legendary John W. Heisman.
When the Zip wearing No. 3 on his jersey carries the ball in Ohio Stadium Saturday for the first time, it will be three or four years later than Dennis Kennedy probably expected. He was a member of Ohio State's 2004 recruiting class but a problem with the NCAA Clearinghouse prevented his becoming a Buckeye. Kennedy resurfaced at Akron that fall and took a redshirt. Last season he ran for 914 yards and earned second team All-MAC honors.
Senior Akron wide receiver Jabari Arthur is sixth on the school's all-time receptions list and was the sixth player drafted overall in the 2007 Canadian Football League draft. Arthur has 109 career receptions as a Zip.
On defense, the Zips return nine starters from a year ago when Akron's defense that finished 44th in the nation in both total defense and pass efficiency defense.
Thirteen quarters have passed since the Ohio State defense forced a turnover. The Buckeyes forced 27 turnovers last season, but the last came in the third quarter of game No. 11, an interception by Ross Homan. They were shut out against Michigan, Florida and Youngstown State.
There are three Buckeyes from Akron, the most prominent being No. 28 Chris "Beanie" Wells. Also hailing from the Rubber Capital of the World are senior defensive back De'Angelo Haslam and junior defensive end Lawrence Wilson.
The starting Ohio State offensive line will outweigh Akron's three-man defensive unit by almost 38 pounds per man, 316.2 to 278.3. Averaging 299 pounds, the Akron offensive line will have a 21-pound advantage per man over the Buckeyes' four-man defensive front. Interestingly, the average weights of the OSU and Akron defensive lines are nearly equal.
Three Zips are natives of Columbus, including starting left tackle Chris Kemme, a junior who wears No. 74. The others are backup sophomore guard Jason Sekinger and reserve redshirt freshman running back Phillip Morris.
The game Saturday with Akron will be Ohio State's 499th in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes are 374-104-20 in the Horseshoe all time.