Way back in 2013, Terry Bowden took his 1-6 Akron Zips to Oxford, Ohio to face the winless Miami RedHawks. Akron pulled out a 24-17 victory ending a road game losing streak that dated back to 2008, as well picking up the second win of the season, which hadn't been done since 2009.
Since then, Miami has picked up four wins and Akron has won twelve. Chuck Martin is now the head coach of the RedHawks, and the future is looking pretty good for a program that went 0-12 just a couple of years ago.
The Akron Zips (4-5, 2-3 MAC) will be on the road for the final time in the regular season as they go for their second road win in as many weeks after taking down UMass last week in Foxborough. A win over Miami would put the Zips at five wins, which was the total for both 2013 and 2014. It would also give the Zips a 4-2 road record--their best since joining Division 1A.
The Miami RedHawks (2-8, 1-6 MAC) matched their 2014 win total with a 28-13 home victory over Eastern Michigan last Saturday. They've played each of their last two opponents, Buffalo and EMU, close after being blown out in three straight games before starting their current three-game home stand. Given the fact that 62 of the 110 players on the roster are freshman, there is reason to believe that Miami could become a winner once again in the somewhat near future.
Players to watch
Miami QB Billy Bahl: He had a first half of the season to forget, but freshman quarterback Billy Bahl is beginning to protect the ball much better than he was early on. Since he threw 4 interceptions at Ohio one month ago, Bahl has thrown 4 touchdowns to just 2 picks. Akron's defense is playing well, so it will be interesting to see what he does on Saturday.
Miami RB Alonzo Smith: The RedHawk rushing attack is led by, you guessed it, a freshman. Alonzo Smith had a nice day against Eastern Michigan last week, rushing for a season high 93 yards and picking up a touchdown. Akron's rush defense is a little bit better than Eastern Michigan's so the yards may be harder to come by this week.
Akron WR Jerome Lane: Akron's leading receiver is just a year removed from forcing a safety against the RedHawks in Akron last year. He leads the team with five receiving touchdowns and is getting on the field more and more every week as he continues to learn the position. He'll be Akron's primary red zone target on Saturday.
Akron DT Rodney Coe: The Iowa State transfer has been a load for opposing offenses to deal with, especially in the past two games. He has 3.5 tackles for loss to go along with 2 sacks and a few pass breakups in the last two. At 6-foot-3, 309lb., any MAC team could have trouble stopping Rodney Coe, especially a young one like Miami.
Quick game info
Miami leads the all-time series 16-7-1 and Akron currently holds a two-game winning streak in the series.
Game time, date: Kickoff is scheduled for NOON on Saturday November 14.
Location: Yager Stadium (capacity 24,286) in Oxford, Ohio
Streaming: The game will be streamed on ESPN3.
Odds: Akron -7. More college football odds can be found here.