Ohio vs. Akron Preview

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The Ohio Bobcats (6-0, 2-0 MAC) will host the Akron Zips (1-5, 0-2 MAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium for Ohio’s 2012 Homecoming game.  

The Zips are coming off of a 24-10 loss to Bowling Green. Akron was up 10-0 at halftime, but gave up 24 second-half points to lose 24-10. Akron running back Jawon Chisholm rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries and gunslinger QB Dalton Williams threw for 228 yards in the game.
Williams leads the MAC in total passing yards with 1,907, passing yards per game with 317.8 and touchdown passes with 15. Williams has completed passes to 18 different receivers throughout the season. He is third in the nation in pass completions with 182 and fourth in the nation in total passing yards. 
“[Akron’s] quarterback is able to put the ball right where it needs to be put,” said Ohio head coach Frank Solich. 
His best target, wide receiver Marquelo Suel, is a Biletnikoff Award Watch List member. He leads the team with 43 catches for 487 yards. Suel had a career-high 13 catches at Tennessee in week four.
Chisholm has posted three consecutive 100-yard rushing games, he has been hot as of late. 
The Akron offense ranks in the nation’s top 40 in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. But, they fail to win because of a poor defense. The Zips give up 38.3 points a game, the Miami Redhawks put up 56 points on them in week five. 
The Zips’ defense is depleted like Ohio’s is. Akron is without starting defensive linemen Nico Caponi and Albert Presley. Akron has given up 211 rushing yards per game thus far in the season. 
Ohio will likely pound the zips with its finally healthy two-headed rushing attack. Running back Ryan Boykin joined Beau Blankenship in the backfield in the Buffalo game and proved to be a threat. 
Boykin rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries against the Bulls. The Buffalo game was Boykin’s first game of the year as he had been nursing a hamstring injury.
Beau Blankenship, who was just recently named to Phil Steele’s Midseason All-American Team, should have a good day against the Zips as they are without two of their best defensive lineman. Blankenship has rushed for 843 yards and six touchdowns this season.
“Ryan (Boykin) will share time with Beau (Blankenship) … Beau will start and get plenty of playing time. Ryan, on the other hand, also deserves playing time, so he’s going to get his opportunities,” said Solich.
Ohio is coming off of a 38-31 win over Buffalo that made the Bobcats one of only three bowl eligible teams in the nation. Ohio is now been bowl eligible for sixth time in the past eight years. 
Bakari Bussey emerged as yet another Ohio weapon in the Buffalo game as he put up 77 yards on eight receptions in the absence on Donte Foster. Foster appears to be healthy enough to play this week.
Tyler Tettleton, who was recently named a finalist for the 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, threw his first interception of the season against the Bulls. He threw for a season low 183 yards and one touchdown in the game. 
Tettleton has been battling a nagging abdominal injury for the last few games, but it did not seem to be bothering him against the Bulls. Tettleton should rebound well against the Zips; Miami’s Zac Dysert threw for 516 yards and six touchdowns against Akron two weeks ago. 
Ohio’s defensive secondary has been banged up recently. Redshirt sophomore safety Josh Kristoff and redshirt freshman cornerback Ian Wells have filled in well for Ohio. They have each forced one fumble this season.
The secondary responded well in the Buffalo game after giving up a staggering 373 passing yards in the Massachusetts game. Ohio held Buffalo to 188 yards passing. 
The inexperienced secondary will face a tough test in Akron’s passing attack. Williams is the real deal, he has the fourth most passing yards in the nation and he will attack Ohio’s secondary.
The game will likely be a shootout as both teams’ defenses are depleted. Blankenship and Boykin will look to prosper against Akron’s shoddy run defense. Williams and his deep receiving corps will attack Ohio’s secondary early and often. 
Ohio should win this game, Akron has only won once this season and their weak run defense may prove to be costly against Ohio’s dominant rush attack. Williams and his offense are able to go blow-for-blow with Ohio, but the Zips’ seem to have trouble maintaining a lead.