Miami (OH) vs. Akron prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the RedHawks and Zips at InfoCision Stadium.
Miami (OH) vs. Akron Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 8 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH
Akron will be looking for its second straight win this weekend after beating Kent State last Saturday to maintain a hold on the Wagon Wheel. While the Zips are a game over .500 and poised to compete for a MAC East Division crown, the program faces uncertainty regarding the health status of starting QB Thomas Woodson, who sat last week with a shoulder injury. Akron has concerns, but they’re nothing compared to Miami’s problems. The RedHawks expected to take another small step for third-year coach Chuck Martin, but have opened instead with five straight losses.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
The RedHawks are one of four remaining winless FBS teams. But it’s not quite as bad as it looks. Miami has been competitive, dropping the last four by an average of only a touchdown. Now, scoring is a problem for a team that’s dreadful in the trenches and will be using freshman QB Noah Wezensky in place of injured starting QB Billy Bahl this week. Defense, though, has been a strength. DE JT Jones and DBs Heath Harding and Tony Reid have been sparkplugs for a unit ranking a respectable fifth overall in the league.
What to Know About Akron
The Zips are kind of an inverse of the RedHawks; the D is a major liability while the offense is the calling card. But the injury to Woodson’s shoulder has left the attack up in the air as well. In last week’s Kent State win, the running game was average and backup QB Tra’Von Chapman struggled to complete 11-of-28 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. It’ll help if the offense regains the services of RB Warren Ball, an Ohio State transfer who has been out with an injury since the Week 2 Wisconsin game.
Offense: Akron. The RedHawks might have the worst offense in the FBS, headlined by an O-line that’s allowed a nation’s-high 23 sacks.
Defense: Miami. At some point this season, the RedHawks are going to pull off an upset. And in all likelihood the defense will lead the charge.
Special Teams: Akron. This could be the Zips’ tightest unit right now, led by PK Tom O’Leary and an incendiary return game.
Coaching: Akron. Martin is better than his overall record, but Terry Bowden is one of the old warhorses of the college coaching fraternity.
Intangibles: Akron. The Zips are home, motivated by last week’s win and eager to remain unbeaten in MAC play.
Matchup To Watch
Chapman vs. Miami CBs Heath Harding and Deondre Daniels
Assuming he gets the nod again from Bowden, the Zips need a higher degree of efficiency and accuracy out of Chapman, a former Pitt transfer. Akron is home to a terrific ensemble of receivers, like Jerome Lane, JoJo Natson and Austin Wolf, but their talents will be wasted if Chapman fails to effectively get them the ball.
Spread: Akron -7.5
Miami (OH) vs. Akron Prediction
Akron will have to remain focused Saturday, because this Miami team is plucky, especially on defense. Fortunately for the Zips, a RedHawk challenge will stall when points are needed to close the gap. Without Bahl—or anyone to block DE Jamal Marcus and WLB Ulysses Gilbert—Miami will punt far more than it prospers. On offense, Akron’s Chapman will be better prepared for success now that his first start is in the books, and the receivers will rise up to support the infirmed backfield.
Miami (OH) vs. Akron Score Prediction: Akron 27, Miami (OH) 17