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Five Things Learned: Miami RedHawks at Akron Zips

Are the Zips really the class of the MAC East?

NCAA Football: Akron at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

In the Akron Zips’ 35-13 victory over the Miami RedHawks Saturday, a lot of things were on display in the MAC East match-up. What were they? Let’s dig in and see what happened...

1. Akron’s defense shined against an over-matched Miami offense. The Zips made a lot of plays against an offense that looked like it was manned by a true freshman as the RedHawks were held to 1/12 on third downs, 1/3 on touchdowns in the red zone, six punts, and three turnovers on the afternoon. Ulysses Grant was a grown man on defense with a game-high nine tackles as the ‘Hawks could only muster 260 yards on offense.

2. Noah Wezensky is in the same stage of QB development as Billy Bahl is. Wezensky had an ok outing for his first start, going 14/28 for 153 yards, a score, and two interceptions. Meanwhile, Bahl has completed 55.2% of his passes on the season for 230.8 yards per game along with eight TDs and four picks. They both lack efficiency (which is to be expected) and will only get better as the season goes on.

3. Tre’Von Chapman managed the offense well and kept the machine rolling. His 254 yards of offense and four touchdowns put the Zips ahead, but the big thing from Saturday was no turnovers. Chapman really didn’t give Miami a chance with his play, and that’s his job as the back-up quarterback. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s the guy going forward for Akron, or if Terry Bowden goes with Tommy Woodson when he’s healthy.

4. As good as Akron looked Saturday, we’ll know if they’re for real after next week. The Zips have a massive showdown next Saturday as they host Western Michigan, who’ll be more up to the challenge physically than Miami was. It’s a must-win game for Akron if it wants to keep pace with Ohio and challenge for the MAC East title.

5. The tough times for the RedHawks get tougher. The ‘Hawks will have to find a way to move the ball with Bahl possibly out for next week at home against a Kent State team that is always stout on defense. The defense for the Red and White will have to rise up and get stops to give Wezensky a chance at his first collegiate win.