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Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Akron Zips: Offense sputters again in home opening loss

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Where art thou Akron offense?

Nick Cammett-USA TODAY Sports

A rainy, wet and dreary Saturday at InfoCision Stadium in Akron proved to be a bad omen for the Akron Zips heading into their home opener against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Akron's offense could only muster a measly 110 yards and put the ball in the endzone only once, falling to Pitt 24-7. Akron had just 63 passing yards and 47 rushing yards the entire game, with 32 of them coming from a Conor Hundley touchdown run in the second quarter that ended up being the lone highlight from the day.

The sad part is, putting up 110 yards against a Pitt defense that had given up 37 points and 407 total yards to FCS Youngstown State the week before is a big step back from posting 226 yards in a blowout loss at then #19 Oklahoma. Not putting up yards against a good team on the road is one thing, but getting just over 100 yards against a seemingly mediocre defense is another.

The problems really start at the quarterback position. Kyle Pohl was just 3-8 for 38 yards after going 6-17 for 88 yards against Oklahoma. Tra'Von Chapman, facing his former teammates, went just 4-14 for 29 yards. This season, Akron's quarterbacks are 13-48 (27%) for 151 yards. Akron won't be able to compete in games until someone steps up at the quarterback position and shows that they belong as the starter.

Akron's defense played pretty well considering they were on the field for 37 of the 60 minutes. Pitt had 180 yards through the air from two quarterbacks (Nate Peterman and Chad Voytik) and 127 on the ground in their first game with star running back James Conner, who is out for the season after injuring his MCL.

Unfortunately there's not much of a story to tell with this game. Pitt clearly wanted it more after Akron upset Pitt in Heinz Field last year. The Panthers viewed it as a revenge game and took it out on their opponents, beating them in every facet of the game. They were the more disciplined team as well, as the Panthers only had five penalties for 30 yards while Akron had nine for 85 yards.

With the second largest announced crowd in InfoCision Stadium history on hand to watch the game, most walked away disappointed to see another ugly, bad showing against a decent team. The Zips will have a chance to notch their first victory next week against FCS Savannah State.