2012 AKRON ZIPS SEASON PREVIEW:
The Akron Zips have experienced a bit of a down period over the past two years, going only 2-22 during that time span and only netting one win during their 2011 campaign. However, there is reason for optimism for Zips fans heading into the 2012 season. Terry Bowden, son of famed Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, will take over for the departed Rob Ianello and bring his unique offensive philosophy to the team. While depth is certainly a concern in all corners of the Zips' roster, Akron has a chance to make some noise in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) and may be able to feast upon a few of their non-conference opponents to improve their upcoming recruiting classes and return to respectability.
On offense, the Zips will look to see improvement from quarterback Clayton Moore, who had a ho-hum 2011 season with nine touchdowns and interceptions. However, Moore proved to be a threat on the ground, as he ran for 339 yards and showed the ability to effectively scramble. The offense should also receive a boost from the return of running back Jawon Chisholm, who finished just a hair under 1,000 yards and showed big play ability. Both of the Zips' top receivers, Marquelo Suel and Keith Sconiers are back in action, but the offensive line looks to be the biggest question mark. After losing three starters to graduation, veterans like Mitch Straight and Adam Bice will have to provide a steadying presence for the underclassmen to succeed.
Terry Bowden has brought Chuck Amato to take over the defense, as well as former NFL standout Terrell Buckley to coach the defensive backs. On the defensive line, Akron will have to rely on a slew of underclassmen like Nico Caponi and John Griggs to improve the unit's production. The linebacking corps will receive a boost from the return of Troy Gilmer, who was one of the team's leading tackler during the 2011 campaign. Finally, the defensive backs should be one of the Zips' strongest units consisting of playmakers like cornerback Josh Richmond and safety Devonte Morgan.
Heading into the 2012 season, Akron has a favorable schedule to look forward to, but will have to overcome their bad luck in the MAC to climb the rankings. The Zips open up the season against the UCF Knights, and will have good matchups against Florida International and Morgan State before having to face the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville in late September. With a bit of luck and a marked improvement on offense, the Zips could be in line for a surprise campaign this year.
AKRON ZIPS TEAM FACTS:
Location: Akron, Ohio
Stadium: Rubber Bowl
Rivals: Kent State Golden Flashes
Mascot: Zippy the Kangaroo
Notable Alumni: Dwight Smith, Jason Taylor, Charlie Frye, John Heisman
These blue and gold Akron Zips hail from the state of Ohio, and have recently made school history. In 2005, for the very first time, the Akron Zips football team won the Mid-American Conference title, securing their spot for a bowl berth. The Akron Zips are one of few athletic programs that have a female mascot. “Zippy” is a female kangaroo. The Zips play Kent State University each year in a rivalry game for the Wagon Wheel trophy. Grab some tickets to a Zips game and get ready for some quality MAC football!
Akron Zips Basketball tickets