If there were any worries about potential rust for the Miami RedHawks (2-1) after being off the field for two weeks due to a COVID cancellation, they were assuaged on Saturday afternoons, as the ‘Hawks dispatched the Akron Zips (0-4) thoroughly in a 38-7 triumph at InfoCision Stadium.
It was a dominant effort, with Miami scoring on their first offensive series of the game at the 9:35 mark in the first quarter on a 61-yard pass from Brett Gabbert to Jack Sorenson to put the score at 7-0, and not allowing a score until Zach Gibson found Michael Mathison on an 11-yard pass with 8:08 to go in the fourth quarter.
Inbetween then, Miami posted 31 more points, with three more Gabbert-to-Sorenson touchdown passes from 29 yards, 28 yards and 15 yards out, a 46-yard Henry Beckett field goal and an Emmanuel Rugamba 62-yard pick six making up the remainder of the Miami box score.
Overall, Gabbert finished 18-of-27 for 308 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions on the day, getting sacked only once. He also added 48 rushing yards on four carries, to lead the RedHawks rushing attack as well.
Jack Sorenson was the golden child in this game, picking up eight receptions for 177 yards and four touchdowns for the RedHawks to lead all players on the day. Mack Hippenhammer, the Penn State transfer, was second on the team with five receptions and 77 yards, while Jack Coldiron constributed three receptions for 41 yards.
Defensively, it was a long day to be an Akron Zip, as the RedHawks picked up seven sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss as a unit, as well as two quarterback hits, four pass break-us and a interception return touchdowns. Three different RedHawks tied for the total tackles lead with 6, including Ivan Pace, Sterling Weatherford and Ryan McWood. Defensive end Kameron Butler was the dominanting force on the day, however, with five total tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks, a pass break-up and a QB hit.
For Akron, Zach Gibson was once again the option at QB, finishing with 16-of-27 for 141 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the day. Receiver Michael Mathison was the reipeint of Akron’s lone touchdown late in the game, while George Qualls led the Zips with three receptions for 50 yards.
After breaking off two 150+ yard performances in a row, Zips RB Teon Dollard met his match, being limited to 13 carries for 28 yards, as the Zips abandoned the run game early and could not hold up against a relentless Miami run defense. Zach Gibson had 29 yards of net gain on 13 carries, but finished with -21 rushing yards due to sacks.
Bubba Arslenian once again led the Zips in total tackles (11), while the unit picked up three tackles-for-loss and a sack. The Zips allowed 7.7 yards per offensive play on average, while allowing Miami to pick up 9-of-15 third downs and maintain possession for 28:17, and forced four punts.
Miami will host the Kent State Golden Flashes next Saturday afternoon, while Akron will host Bowling Green in a battle of winless wonders, also next Saturday afternoon.