There was a common theme to the Akron Zips' offensive struggles in the first two weeks of the season: quarterback play. With the installation of Tommy Woodson into the signal calling position, Akron is now on a two-game winning streak and riding high after yesterday's 35-14 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at Cajun Field.
Woodson was inserted at quarterback late in the first quarter of Akron's last contest against Savannah State and hasn't shown any signs of losing the job. The 6-foot-1, 240 pound signal caller finished 13-29 for 238 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Ragin' Cajuns. The bruising quarterback also led the Zips in rushing, carrying the ball eight times for 93 yards and a touchdown.
The scoring started early for the Zips, as on just their second possession Akron marched 81 yards down the field on the backs of Woodson and running back Conor Hundley. Woodson found Hundley on a 33-yard completion that got Akron down to the Cajun 11, and then hooked up with Andrew Pratt on a quick slant for the game's opening touchdown.
The Zips were driving again on their next possession when Louisiana-Lafayette committed two penalties on the same play - an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on top of a pass interference penalty - which got the Zips down to the Cajun 26. Five plays later, Woodson was in the end zone after a designed quarterback draw play took him 14-yards through multiple Cajun defenders.
Woodson and Hundley also led the way in the second half, with combining for all three of Akron's touchdowns. Hundley had touchdown runs of one and eleven yards, while Woodson connected with Jerome Lane on the first play of a drive for a 72-yard touchdown.
It would be a mistake to not mention how great the Akron defense played. The Zips forced four turnovers and held the Cajuns to just 285 total yards. Safety Zach Guiser led the way with eight tackles and linebacker Dylan Evans had five, including two tackles for loss and an interception. All of this being against the same Cajun team that put a big scare in Kentucky the opening weekend before ultimately losing 40-33.
The Zips had an impressive 458 total yards, with 238 of them coming through the air and 220 on the ground. Akron won the all-important time of possession statistic as well, holding the ball for 33 of the games' 60 minutes. The eleven penalties for 92 yards isn't something to be happy about, but it'll be something to work on for next week. A Woodson interception was the only Akron turnover, and the Zips offense was able to score two touchdowns off of four Cajun turnovers.
It was all smiles in the locker room after the game, as the Zips have to feel confident as ever after a win like that:
Akron opens conference play next weekend against Ohio, which is a pivotal East Division game for both teams. It's also Akron's homecoming, so a large crowd (by Akron standards) is sure to be expected. The game kicks off a 2:00 p.m. on ESPN3.