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Iowa State Cyclones at Akron Zips: Five Things Learned

The Cyclones sweep through Akron and deny Zips hope of an upset.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Akron David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

The Akron Zips got absolutely shellacked by the Iowa St. Cyclones, 41-14. Akron managed to show some fight, but were unable to match the Cyclones’ talent. Iowa State dominated the Zips on both sides of the ball. Fortunately for the Zips, we can learn a lot from this loss.

The Akron offense took too long to start playing well.

Unfortunately for the Zips, it took until the second quarter to start moving the ball. The first quarter was spent figuring out the Iowa State defense. For the Zips to remain competitive in the Mid-American Conference, they need to be able to come out hot. Furthermore, the offense did not seem to last long.

Akron has talented players, like Kwadarrius Smith and Tra’Von Chapman at wide receiver, and Warren Ball at running back. The only thing they need is consistent blocking.

Thomas Woodson tried to step up under pressure.

Iowa State gave the Zips all they could handle on offense. Thomas Woodson showed incredible poise despite the pressure. He stood confidently and delivered almost every pass where it could be caught. Woodson was the definition of leadership to his team, even though they lost. Especially in the second and third quarters, Thomas Woodson put the score out of his head and simply played the game. I admire that.

Akron’s defense is unbalanced in strength.

Akron also has a talented defense. To be honest, defense is probably what the Zips are best known for every year. One thing I could not help but notice is that Iowa State only ran to their left, Akron’s right.

That is because Akron matches their stars against the offense. It makes sense. It also leaves less experienced personnel all on one side of the field. If you include substitutions, a necessary part of the game, it can make the defense vulnerable.

Iowa State was able to use that against Akron. By lining their star players on one side of the field, Iowa State forced Akron to have a weak side. It certainly does not help Akron that Zach Guiser left the game injured. This is a staffing problem that needs to be addressed before next week.

Akron apparently cannot run.

Akron could not find any sort of running room against Iowa State. The final tally was 38 rushing yards for Akron, about 70 yards if you remove sacks from the equation. Iowa State was unrelenting and Akron was unable to create holes to run through.

Even when passing, Akron was unable to get yards after catch. Both Van Edwards, Jr. and Warren Ball were itching to run all day. Last week, Akron managed 267 yards rushing against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, so this week’s performance against Iowa State may have just been that the Cyclones really were that good. Either way, I would not panic just yet if I were Terry Bowden.

The offensive line needs to protect Thomas Woodson.

One can only ask so much out of Thomas Woodson. Studying Woodson in the pocket, he can send a ball downfield with pinpoint precision. He can even do it scrambling half the time. Unfortunately, Woodson cannot block for himself.

Iowa State brought the pressure that the Akron offense could not handle, sacking Thomas Woodson six times. That pressure also forced a few bad passes and two interceptions. Woodson is a very good quarterback, but it will not show if he does not get a pocket or a running lane.