The Akron Zips (1-3) put together one of their best drives of the last few seasons to take an early lead at Ohio Stadium, but ultimately couldn’t keep up the momentum, giving up 59 straight points to lose by a final score of 59-7 to the Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) on Saturday night.
DJ Irons led Akron down the field on the Zips’ second offensive drive of the game after both teams exchanged punts to begin the proceedings, with Irons finding Konata Mumfield for a four-yard strike to push the Zips up to a 7-0 lead with 7:27 to go in the first quarter. The touchdown capped off a nine-play, 55 yard drive which took up over four minutes of game clock.
It was all downhill from there, as Akron allowed Ohio State to go three-of-three on their next three offensive drives, with touchdowns to Chris Olave (five-yard reception), Treveyon Henderson (three-yard rush) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (34-yard reception) all within 10 minutes of game time.
The Akron offensive line just couldn’t hold up after awhile, forcing Irons into scramble mode. He would eventually find Ohio State DB Ronnie Hickman for an acrobatic pick-six tipped off the hands of Akron TE Tristian Brank to push the lead to 35-7 with 4:43 remaining in the first half. A Noah Ruggles field goal from 32 yards out would put the first half score at 38-7.
It was elementary from there, with Ohio State RB Master Teague running in for two scores in the third quarter, and Evan Pryor getting a 12-yard score with 2:47 remaining to put the game away.
DJ Irons finished the day 14-of-29 for 115 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, adding 17 rushing yards on 15 carries as well. Zach Gibson came in for cleanup duty, going 4-of-5 for 38 yards.
Blake Hester was the lead back for the Zips, with 12 attempts for 47 yards, and also hauled in three receptions for 22 yards. Listed starter Jonzell Norrils carried the ball for 15 yards on nine carries. Konata Mumfield led the Zips receivers with the lone score of the game, nabbing seven receptions for 67 yards as well. Michael Mathison, Tristian Brank and Tony Grimes Jr. all had at least two receptions.
Defensively for the Zips, Brandon Bischof and Bubba Arslenian topped the tackle charts, with six apiece. Jaylen Kelly-Powell had five tackles, including a tackle-for-loss and a sack. DB Charles Amankwaa hauled in the lone Akron interception.
Stat leaders for Ohio State on offense included true freshman QB Kyle McCord (13-of-18 for 319 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) in his first start, Treyveon Henderson (eight carries for 93 yards, two touchdowns) and receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba (five receptions, 93 yards, one touchdown) and Garret Wilson (four receptions, 124 yards.)
DL Tyleik Williams (six tackles, two tackles-for-loss, two sacks), LB Steele Chambers (five tackles, one tackle-for-loss) and Haskell Garret (five tackles, three sacks, three tackles-for-loss) were tops of the defensive chart for Ohio State. Ronnie Hickman and LB Cody Simon each had an interception apiece.
Akron, standing at 1-3, will now get set to face the winless Ohio Bobcats on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern in the familiar confines of InfoCision Stadium.