Preview: Akron at Miami Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Wednesday, November 14 2007
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Miami LB Joey Hudson
Miami is on the verge of clinching the MAC East Division title and would take a giant step in that direction with a victory over Akron in Oxford Wednesday night in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN2. The RedHawks would claim a spot in the MAC Championship Game with a win over Akron accompanied by a loss by Bowling Green to Buffalo on Saturday. Miami would also claim a MAC East title by winning their remaining two games.


Akron (4-6, 3-3 MAC) at Miami (5-5, 4-1 MAC), 7:30 pm ET
Site: Yager Stadium

Series: Miami Leads 12-5-1 (Last meeting: Akron 24, Miami 13 in 2006).
Television: ESPN2

zips_small.jpgScouting Akron: This Zips surprised Ohio last week, snapping a three-game losing streak by downing the Bobcats 48-37 in the Zips' biggest offensive output in two seasons. The Zips were led by running back Alex Allen who rushed for three touchdowns. Despite big games from Allen (96 yards) and Bryan Williams (80 yards) Akron is still only averaging 132 yards on the ground this season and has not fared much better through the air, averaging 188 yards (11th MAC). The Zips have alternated between Carlton Jackson and Chris Jacquemain at quarterback with Jacquemain regaining the starting spot last week after missing the Zips' 44-20 loss to Bowling Green, as he sat out a one-game suspension for violation of team rules. The most consistent offensive performer for the Zips this season has been standout wide receiver Jabari Arthur who leads the conference, averaging 98.7 yards receiving per game. Arthur has caught 10 of the Zips' 14 aerial scores this season and his ten touchdowns are the most by any MAC wide receiver. Defensively, the Zips own the MAC's third-best passing defense, allowing only 212.8 yards per game and rank third in total defense. LB Brion Stokes leads the Zips with 5.5 sacks this season and is fourth in the MAC with 14 tackles for loss. The Zips however have had trouble stopping teams in the red-zone with teams converting on 87% of their red-zone opportunities against Akron.

MiamiRedhawks_Color_small.jpgScouting Miami:
The RedHawks will be seeking their fourth straight victory at home and are coming off a bye-week following their 31-28 victory over Buffalo which put them within one win of becoming officially bowl eligible. Quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh is averaging 255 yards passing over the last four games and has thrown six touchdowns and only two interceptions during that span. Miami has been hit hard by injuries at the running back spot but Cory Jones has shown promise since taking over, rushing twice this season for 125 yards in a game, including Miami's win over Buffalo. The RedHawks though have been getting it done with a defense that ranks first in the MAC allowing 26 points per game but only 19.5 points per game in their last six contests. Miami also ranks third overall in the MAC in rushing defense, allowing 174.3 yards per game. The RedHawks' linebacking trio of Clayton Mullins, Caleb Bostic and Joey Hudson is among the most productive in the MAC, combining for 276 tackles with Mullins second overall in total tackles with 105. The RedHawks also top the MAC with 25 quarterback sacks and are led by lineman Joey Coniglio who is third in the conference with 5.5 sacks.

There is a lot on the line for the RedHawks Wednesday night. A win would make Miami officially bowl eligible and move them closer to clinching the MAC East title and a chance to play Central Michigan for the MAC Championship in Detroit on December 1. Akron can only play spoiler at this point and lived up to that role last week when they fatally damaged Ohio's hopes of securing a bowl bid. Miami is 3-1 at home while the Zips are 1-5 on the road with their only road win being a miracle, last-second win over Western Michigan, 39-38. The Zips will keep it competitive but the RedHawks have too much on the line to let this one get away
Prediction: Miami 24, Akron 17.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, November 14 2007 )
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