By Jake Allen
This Saturday the Zips will look to pick up their first win of the season as they take on the Savannah State Tigers.
Following losses to No. 16 ranked Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, things look to get easier with Savannah State, an FCS school from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Tigers lost their first matchup of the season two weeks ago to Colorado State, 65-13.
The Zips will be looking to jumpstart their offense, which has combined for just 151 yards passing along with 185 yards rushing through two weeks. Quarterback play will be a large focus for Akron, as neither Kyle Pohl (9-25, 122 yards) or Tra’Von Chapman (4-22, 29 yards) have been able to put the ball into the end zone.
During last week’s game against Pittsburgh, Kyle Pohl was injured and is questionable to play, so sophomore Thomas Woodson could take some snaps under center. He has yet to throw a pass this season, but he threw for 806 yards and 5 touchdowns last season.
In fact, only Conor Hundley has crossed the goal line in the first two games, as he easily leads the team in rushing with 95 yards on 19 carries with the one score.
Defensively, the Zips have had success stopping the run, as they rank 38th out of the 127 FBS schools in rush defense, allowing only 113.5 yards per contest. In contrast, the pass defense could use a lift, as they sit at number 107 by allowing 309.5 yards over two games.
Akron could be getting some help, however, as the Tigers are expected to start freshman David Handler at quarterback. The 6’5” Culver City, California native would be making his first collegiate start. He did, however, get some playing time during the Colorado State game, completing three out of eight passes for eighteen yards.
Looking to take the load off of the young quarterback will be junior running back Richard Williams, who gained 85 yards on 13 attempts with a touchdown in his first game. The running game could again be important for each team as heavy rain is once again a part of the forecast.
Game time will be at 12 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium.