Fans of the Mid-American Conference or the Akron Zips pointed to Saturday’s game in Happy Valley as an opportunity to claim an upset over the Penn State Nittany Lions. On paper it made sense. Akron is a talented team capable of offensive fireworks. Penn State has struggled in season-openers and has been known at times to sleepwalk against lower-ranked opponents. The weather was overcast and gray which was likely to subdue the crowd. On paper, that all made sense and pointed at a “closer-than-the-experts-think” finish. But football games aren’t played on paper.
Penn State proved in no uncertain terms why they were the Big Ten Champions last season as they defeated the Akron Zips 52-0. It was domination on both sides of the ball as the Nittany Lions racked up 569 yards of total offense and held the Zips to just 159 yards. It was balanced dominance by the Penn State offense, rushing for 247 yards and throwing for 322.
For Akron, Thomas Woodson was held in check all afternoon, going 12-23 for just 71 yards and an INT. It was likely the toughest defense he will face this season, and the skill and playmaking showed on the opposite side of the ball showed. The ground attack for the Zips was largely stifled also as Kato Nelson and Warren Ball combined for only 66 yards on 22 carries.
Akron (0-1) will return home next week for their InfoCision Stadium opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30PM.