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2017 Week 3 Preview: Akron Zips vs. Iowa State Cyclones

The Zips will host a Power 5 team at InfoCision Stadium this weekend. What should you look forward to?

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Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

In their last five attempts, the Akron Zips have not been able to top a Power 5 squad. Their next attempt to end that streak will come when the Iowa State Cyclones march into InfoCision Stadium on Saturday.

The Cyclones enter the matchup at 1-1, and they’re coming off a 44-41 loss in overtime to in-state rival Iowa.

The Zips (1-1, 0-0 MAC) are riding in hot after earning their first victory by way of a 52-3 win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Akron earned a total of 464 yards on offense, bringing their season total up to 550.

The offense will look to go to work against a Cyclone team that has given up 875 yards in their two games. Additionally, they should look to go through the air as 592 of those have come off the Cyclones’ opponent’s pass game.

On the other side of the ball, Iowa State (1-1, 0-0 Big 12) will roll into Akron coming off a disheartening 44-41 loss in El Associo (!) to rival Iowa in overtime.

The Cyclones gained 467 yards of offense with 347 of those coming threw the air, and 120 coming by way of the run game. The Zips have given up 767 total yards of offense throughout their two matchups, so the Cyclones should look to unload on Saturday.

Players to Watch

Warren Ball, Akron

NCAA Football: Akron at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Zips kept the ball on the ground for 44 of their 70 plays, and they gave it to Ball 20 times in the win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff in week 2. He earned a total of 154 yards with three touchdowns, too. The Cyclones have held their opponents to a mere 283 yards, but it’s easy to be convinced that Ball will get a good amount of touches.

Jacob Park, Iowa State

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Iowa State Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Park’s the man that starts under center for the Cyclones this season, succeeding Joel Lanning, who went under a transition from quarterback to linebacker this offseason.

He’ll be coming off a week where he passed for 347 yards on 25 completions against a legitimate Big Ten division contender in Iowa and has a bevy of receiving targets to throw to as well, with Alan Lazard, Hakeem Butler and Deshaunte Jones that could make the Cyclones a threat to the Akron pass defense.

Park has an incredible power arm and with Matt Campbell’s up-tempo vertical offense, it could prove to make it a tough day for an Akron team that has given up 519 passing yards over the past two games. Park has the potential to look sharp for the Cyclones (as long as you ignore the horrific helmet hair).

Game notes

Where and when: Saturday, Sept, 16 at 12 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium in Akron, Ohio.

Weather (as of publication): 78 degrees at kickoff, partly cloudy, winds at 4 MPH. Humidity, 58 percent.

TV/Streaming: CBS Sports Network (check you local cable provider for channel information.)

Odds: Per, Iowa State is a 10.5 point road favorite against Akron, with an over/under of 63 points. Iowa State opened at -9.5 points.