Last Visit to the Rubber Bowl

The Univeristy of Toledo travel to Akron, Ohio Wednesday night to take on the Akron Zips in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU. The Akron Zips sport a 4-4, 2-2 record which features a couple of decisive wins over Syracuse and Army, decisive losses to Wisconsin and Ball State along with a close loss to Cincinnati.

Rubber is elastic and it can be compressed.
Rubber can prevent babies or make veins pop out.
It can let your vehicle roll uphill or float you down the river.
Rubber keeps perishables save or wipes out mistakes.
It protects your floors & carpets or, if you dare, spandex your shape.

Rubber is also for rebounding.

The Akron Zips sport a 4-4, 2-2 record which features a couple of decisive wins over Syracuse and Army, decisive losses to Wisconsin and Ball State along with a close loss to Cincinnati.

The Zips have been able to move the ball and score points when turnovers can be overcome. They also give up points with a 3-3-5 defensive alignment.


On Offense

QB Chris Jacquemain is adequate at passing the ball around (58.6% with 14 TDs and 10 INTs) to half a dozen receivers with double digit receptions. Leading the receiver corps are wide receivers Deryn Bowser (42 catches, 12.2 ypc, 3 TDs), Andre Jones (34 grabs, 16.0 ypc, 7 TDs), Jeremy Bruce, WV transfer, (22 catches, 11.1 ypc, 0 TDs) and Dashan Miller, UTEP transfer (13 receptions, 10.5 ypc, 0 TDs). Running backs Dennis Kennedy and Andrew Johnson have combined for 19 receptions and 124 yards and no TDs. TE Merce Poindexter is averaging one catch per game with three going for touchdowns.

Handling the rushing chores for the Zips are Dennis Kennedy, on his way to a 1,000 yard season (750 yards, 6.0 ypc, 9 TDs) and Andrew Johnson, U of Miami, FL transfer, (4.9 ypc and 1 TD). Akron's running game has been somewhat erratic racking up 339 yards on the ground against Eastern Michigan but a season low of 58 yards against Kent State.


On Defense

Only Army failed to score in double digits against the Zips. With the exception of the Bearcats 17 points every other team has put at least 27 points on the board. Akron's 3-3-5 defense ranks among the bottom of the MAC in total defense, rushing defense, opponent first downs, and sacks.

MLB Kevin Grant leads the D with 61 tackles (36 solo), 7.5 TFL, three sacks, two pass break-ups, two QB hurries and two fumble recoveries. CB Mike Thomas has 6.5 TFL and two sacks. The rest of the defense has a total of three sacks.

The secondary has combined for six INTs through eight games. The defense, however, has forced a dozen fumbles and recovered 14 of 16 miscues. If the ball is on the ground, the Zips are likely to come up with it.


Special Teams

Punt return duties are shared by Andre Jones (6.8 ypr) and Jeremy Bruce (5.0 ypr).

Kickoff returns are handled by committee. Bryan Williams leads the quartet with a 32.3 yards per return. Dashan Miller and Andre Jones are nearly even in 21.5/21.3 yards per return. Andrew Johnson is not far behind with 19.2 ypr.

Field goals chores are handled by Igor Iveljic who has connected on 13 of 18 with one blocked. He is perfect, 5 for 5, from 30 to 39 yards out. He has connected on 70% of his attempts from 20 to 29 yards away. Beyond 40 yards he is one for three.

Punter John Stec is averaging 39.3 yards per punt with 13 being fair caught. The punt coverage team is holding opponents to less than 4 yards per return on average.

Branko Rogovic handles most of the kickoff duties putting the ball to the opponents five yard line on average. The coverage has typically held the opponents to within the 30 yard line on kickoff returns.


What To Look For:

The Rockets to hold the Zips to less than 150 yards on the ground

Two interceptions by the Rockets

Strong offensive showing by the Rockets in the air – Aaron to throw for more than 220 yards – and on the ground – Collins and Williams to rush for more than 150 yards

If Aaron is sacked it will be only once

Rockets to win the battle of field position

The Rockets to win


Rubber is a lot of things and of course Akron is the center of the rubber industry. And it's the Rubber Bowl where the Rockets can rebound.



Rocket Digest Top Stories