Playing under a special scoring format, the Akron Zips offense defeated the defense 82-36 yesterday. It was a little more of a blowout than I expected, but the fact the offense outperformed the defense doesn't surprise me at all. The Zips have never had a shutdown defense, generally allowing the opposition to pick up a few first downs before having them punt it away.
All three quarterbacks played very well:
Last year's disappointing starter Patrick Nicely threw 7-11 for 103 yards. Junior college transfer Clayton Moore was 11-14 for 122 yards with a touchdown, and Zach D'Orazio threw 5-8 for 127 yards and a touchdown.
It looks a tad better for Moore (D'Orazio's yardage is a little misleading; one of his five passes was a 77 yard touchdown) than the others, but Nicely's experience is the most important item on his résumé.
I would point out how great it is that the quarterbacks combined completed 23 of 33 passes for 352 yards and two touchdowns, but we all saw how miserable our pass defense was last year.
Here's some better, less misleading statistics:
Jawon Chisholm (who?) was named the offensive MVP...for his 14 carries, 124 yards, and two rushing touchdowns. Last year's rushing defense wasn't nearly as bad as the secondary, and with the worries over the rushing game, this is very good news. On top of Chisholm, freshman Marvin Staten ran 14 times for 50 yards.
On the defensive side, safety L.T. Smith had 10 tackles, and cornerback Bill Alexander had eight. Last year's team leader in the tackling department, Brian Wagner, only had four; a testament to the performance of the offensive line and running backs.
When did Lee Jackson Field become Cub Cadet Field? I completely missed that one.
The men's soccer team tied Xavier 2-2 yesterday in a Spring Exhibition game at....Cub Cadet....Field. That sounds awful. While we're at it, why don't we rename Jacob's Field to Progressive Field?
The Zips goals were scored courtesy of Darren Mattocks and Scott Caldwell. Mattocks ended the day with four shots and three on goal.
I know these are just exhibition games, but the ties are worrying me. With seven new starters, and the results to date in the Spring schedule, I hold no hope of a repeat championship, and I highly doubt that the team will make it back to the College Cup.
Valparaiso is next up on Wednesday, at 7:30pm, at good old Lee....Cadet Field.