|Written by Dave Ruthenberg
|Tuesday, November 06 2007
It's another weeknight matchup designed to get the MAC some exposure with the game being broadcast nationally on ESPN2 but with Akron out of the running and on a three-game losing streak, the Rubber Bowl will likely have a serious shortage of fans in attendance.
Ohio (5-5, 3-3 MAC) at Akron (3-6, 2-3 MAC), 7:30 pm ET
Site: Rubber Bowl
Series: Tied 11-11-1 (Last meeting: Ohio 17, Akron 7 in 2006).
Outlook: Ohio enters its contest against Akron riding a modest two-game winning streak following its 23-7 win over Temple this past Saturday. The Bobcats' Kalvin McRae has been on a tear lately rushing for 351 yards over the past two weeks and his 17 rushing touchdowns top the MAC this season while his average of 121.3 yards rushing is good for third in the conference. Theo Scott received the starting nod at quarterback last week for Ohio but left in the third quarter of Friday's game with a pulled groin. Scott is probable but head coach Frank Solich has indicated that both Scott and Brad Bower will likely play against Akron. The Bobcats' defense shutdown Temple last week, allowing only 48 yards net rushing and is allowing 28.2 points per game, fourth-best in the MAC this season and has had success at getting to the opposing quarterback, recording 24 sacks, second in the conference behind only Miami's 25 sacks.
Carlton Jackson was the surprise starter at QB for Akron last week after Chris Jacquemain was benched for an unspecified violation of team rules. Jacquemain, who has passed for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns this season, is expected to resume his role as the starter Wednesday for the Zips who return home on a three-game losing skid following their 44-20 setback at Bowling Green. The Zips, with three divisional losses, are essentially eliminated from contention in the MAC East. Akron ranks no higher than 11th in any offensive category and ranks last in total offense, averaging 309.1 yards per game. The Zips have surrendered an average of 35 points over their past five games with their only win during that stretch being their miracle come-from-behind win at Western Michigan 39-38 on October 6.
The Bobcats can become bowl eligible with a win Wednesday night in Akron and seem to be peaking late in the season. It may be too late for Ohio to win the MAC East but a 7-5 finish may be enough to attract the attention of bowl scouts as Ohio seeks to reach the postseason for the second straight year.
Prediction: Ohio 28, Akron 14.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, November 07 2007 )