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MAC Football Week 13 Preview: Akron Zips @ Ohio Bobcats

It’s a big game for both programs, and has potentially historic ramifications.

NCAA Football: Ohio at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When Akron travels to Athens to battle the Bobcats, their bowl hopes are on the line. A victory for the Bobcats brings a guaranteed birth in the MAC championship game. An Akron victory opens the door for Miami to win the MAC East, with a victory of their own against Ball State. Miami started the season 0-6. That would be a comeback story worthy of a Broadway play. As someone with no pony in the race, that’s who I will be rooting for. The ultimate underdog.

For Akron to play their part in the play, they will need to move the ball through the air. Akron isn’t very good running the football, and Ohio is the best at stopping it in the MAC. Their 106 yards against average is good for 9th in the entire nation.

Unfortunately for the Zips, and anyone rooting for Miami, both of their quarterbacks are questionable for the game. Jerome Lane, JoJo Natson and Austin Wolf are a talented receiving group, but they need a healthy QB to get them the ball. It might be another receiver, Tyrell Goodman, that tries.

When Ohio has the ball, they will be going against one of the worst defenses in the MAC. Only 11 FBS teams give up more yards per game than the Zips. The 35 points per game they give up isn’t much better.

OU quarterback Greg Windham is day to day with an ankle sprain, but he hasn’t played the last two games. QB responsibilities have fallen to freshman Quintion Maxwell. He has completed 56% of his passes, and thrown for 8 touchdowns on the season, so he has some experience. Some experience is all you need against this defense.

The Bobcats use a stable of backs, with Dorian Brown shouldering most of the load. He has 747 yards on the season, on only 126 carries, good for 5.9 yards per carry. Both quarterbacks can move the ball on the ground, too.

All of this should put Ohio in a position to win the game. If they don’t, I wouldn’t bank on Ball State beating Miami, giving OU the backdoor MAC East championship. Not only has Miami won 5 games in a row, they have played good football to do it.

Kick off is Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 pm, in Athens. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. The Weather Channel says that temperatures should be in the mid 40s, with little chance of rain. I couldn’t find a line for the game, probably because of all the uncertainty around the quarterbacks.