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Schedule and Odds
There's not much you can say about Akron considering they have won only one game in three straight seasons. Terry Bowden is doing the best he can with the current talent on the roster. They at least managed a number of close games last season so there was improvement. The next step for Bowden will be to get over that one-win barrier.
The Zips led the MAC in passing with over 300 yards per game in 2012. Unfortunately, quarterback Dalton Williams is gone and sophomore Kyle Pohl is set to take his spot. Like many positions, Bowden hasn't exactly declared Pohl the immediate starter for the season. With Williams gone, the offense will likely get running back Jawon Chisholm involved even more. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry last season on 180 carries. Their top receiver is gone, but they still have plenty of experience with guys like Dee Frieson and Keith Sconiers. The line continues to be a work in progress, but they do return three starters. Akron isn't as bad as some MAC teams on the offensive end, although that doesn't mean much if the defense can't stop anyone.
The defense returns plenty of talent (seven starters), but they are still a unit that allowed more than 35 points per game last year. Bowden plans on bringing in a lot of new faces to lift the squad. They're most experienced in the secondary with three returning starters and all four of the projected defensive backs are upperclassmen. Unfortunately, the schedule won't help matters for the Zips.
2013 Akron Football Schedule
Aug. 29 at UCF
Sept. 7 vs. James Madison
Sept. 14 at Michigan
Sept. 21 vs. LA-Lafayette
Sept. 28 at Bowling Green
Oct. 5 vs. Ohio
Oct. 12 at Northern Illinois
Oct. 19 at Miami (OH)
Oct. 26 vs. Ball State
Nov. 2 vs. Kent State
Nov. 16 at Massachusetts
Nov. 29 vs. Toledo
Akron has to start the season off with games on the road against the likes of UCF and Michigan. Their lone win in non-conference play will likely come against James Madison. Even their home game with Louisiana-Lafayette will be tough.
MAC play gets started with three of their first four games coming on the road. In addition to that, two of those three opponents are against division favorites. Akron's best chance at conference wins will unfortunately come on the road against Miami (OH) and Massachusetts. They lost to both teams at home last year.
If the Zips want to get over that one-win hump, they'll need to win one of those games. Even home games against Kent State and Toledo will be too big of tasks. Unless the offense can ease into a more balanced attack and the defense can make a couple stops, Akron is headed for one win once again.
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