Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Football Outlook, Part 1

The football team opens up the season at home Saturday with a 6 o'clock matchup against Syracuse. I sat down to preview the game, but realized I really haven't looked at this year's team yet. Rather than spew all of the information out and try to piece together everything that I'm thinking in one night, I am going to cover two positions each day (one offensive position and one defensive position), leading up to Saturday's game.

Today I am taking a look at the offensive line and defensive backs.

Offensive Line:
Three starters return, including tackles Corey Woods (senior) and Jake Anderson (junior). Paul Sekinger is expected to take over at Center, and Zac Kasparek (who saw playing time last season) will most likely be taking over the opening guard slot. Overall, the line doesn't look to be in bad shape. Both Kasparek and Sekinger are juniors, so experience is not an issue.

This is a sore spot for the defense this year. Manly Waller, who had three interceptions last year, is the only returning starter. The rest of the expected starters (Diamond Weaver at cornerback, Dough Richardson and Kevin Davis at safety) are all seniors, but with a new defensive scheme and a new coaching staff, opposing offenses are probably looking forward to playing us.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roo News 8/29/10

1) The volleyball team defeated Howard and lost to West Virginia in the final day of the WVU Classic. You can see the box scores here.

2) Despite outshooting Morehead State today, the women's soccer team lost 3-1 to the Eagles. Early goals (in the 3rd and 11th minutes) were too much for the Zips to overcome, despite aggressive play in the second half. Morehead State's 1-3-0 record is just salt in the wound. The women play their third straight home game to open the season against Canisius on Friday. GoZips.com has the box score.

3) If you didn't like the last bit of news, you definitely won't like this: The men's soccer team (gasp!) lost their exhibition game against South Florida yesterday. The Zips absolutely dominated the game, but couldn't capitalize on their abundant opportunities (14-7 in shots, 11-5 in shots on goal). Let's hope that this was the one fluke of the year and be glad it happened in the exhibition season. The men have away games against North Carolina and Wake Forest (both top 10 teams) this upcoming week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roo News 8/26/10

Lots of news tonight. It's been a while since the last update. That's what the start of a semester will do to you.

1) The University of Akron has inked a contract with SportsTime Ohio. Nine UA sporting events will be aired on STO this year. You can read more about it here.

2) The men's soccer team looked great in their exhibition yesterday against VCU. After a strange own goal after a David Meves slip during the 2nd minute, the Zips outshot VCU 12-2 to win 3-1.
Here are some pictures I took while at the game:

3) Anthony Ampaipatakwong, Darlington Nagbe, Kofi Sarkodie, and Zarek Valentin were all named Preseason All-Americans by Soccer America. The only other schools with multiple selections had no more than two players named to the team.

4) The women's basketball schedule has been released. Check out the full list here.

5) Patrick Nicely has been named the starter for this year's football squad. This comes as no surprise to any of us that were able to watch both Nicely and Matt Rodgers' play last year. For those who didn't, here's the story. After Chris Jacquemain was dismissed from the team, backup Rodgers filled in for a few games, only to throw one touchdown and a boatload of interceptions. After running straight into a few Ohio defenders and suffering a season ending injury, Nicely (a freshman) finished the year. He threw for over 1,300 yards and six touchdowns to a badly damaged receiving corps.

On the other hand, if Matt Rodgers has learned to throw the ball away instead of rushing headlong into a defensive firing squad, he will be a good backup if Nicely doesn't work out.

6) If you have been a fan of Zips football for the last ten years or so, check out this article from Professional Hustlers, which details where alumni are currently located (from Jason Taylor to Jabari Arthur).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Roo News 8/21/10

Just some soccer news tonight. The women's team won impressively against Illinois State, 3-0, all the goals coming from Katie Wise, and all in a three-minute span (starting at the 81st minute). If the team isn't great this year, at least it looks like Wise will be.

Kofi Sarkodie also scored a couple of goals in the men's intra-squad scrimmage today, one coming from a penalty. Michael Nanchoff, McKauly Tulloch, and Darren Mattocks also scored. The men have an exhibition game against VCU on Wednesday.

Professional side-note: The Indians were tied 2-2 against Detroit today until they blew it once again and lost 5-2. If I had a nickel...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Catching Up

This summer, we saw the Cleveland Indians fail miserably, we saw LeBron abandon the Cleveland Cavaliers, and we're still seeing numerous NBA superstars attempting to team up (most notably Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony). It's easy to stop paying attention to UA activity with all this professional happenstance, so here's what we've missed over the summer.

1) Memorial Hall is going, going, gone. Here's a lovely article about the good ole days of the Hall, and some nice classic pictures.

2) The football team has been practicing for a couple of weeks now. New head coach Rob Ianello praised the defense. You can see his thoughts on yesterday's practice here.

3) The football home schedule looks promising this year. The season starts with two home games against Syracuse and Gardner-Webb, respectively. Conference play at home will be against Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Buffalo.

4) LeVon Morefield got a nice article in the Beacon Sports Journal. Rob Ianello seems to be a promising coach, especially when he makes decisions like these.

5) The new soccer field looks amazing, and the sight of extra bleachers make my feet happy.

6) Zips fans may have another soccer team to watch this year. The women's team was picked second in the MAC East in the preseason polls, and third in the MAC overall, behind Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio). Their season begins tomorrow, against Illinois State.

7) Open poll for the comments section: Will the football team make a bowl game this year? What will be their overall record?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're Underway!

Welcome to the Akron Zips Sports Blog. I will be making some design changes to the blog over the next few days, and then (hopefully) getting into full swing.