Coach: Butch Jones: 5-9
QB: Zach Collaros hasn't really gotten off to the best of starts yards. He's hit 62% of his passes, 33-53, but with only 364 yards. Only 6.8 yards an attempt. That's a career low. Compared to last season, he's off by a yard. Compared to the Brian Kelly era, he's down 5 yards. Collaros has been flawless in the red zone, going 6 TDs to 0 INTs. Munchie Leagux got a few drives against Austin Peay, rushing 5 times and throwing 3 times. I bet he'll do about the same. Jordan Luallen didn't play against Tennessee, but I'm sure he'll play this week as well.
RB: Isaiah Pead has been the best Bearcat by far to start the season. He's put up 242 yards on just 21 carries. He's housed 3 TDs. If I were to guess, I would think he would put up somewhere in the high 80s, maybe 90s if Butch doesn't handcuff him. Is it a little bit crazy that UC's best player is getting 12 touches a game? I'll let you answer that. Ralph David Abernathy IV, Jameel Poteat, George Winn and maybe Akise Teague should all see action. Poteat and Winn split the backup duties last week.
WR: DJ Woods has stood out as the top target for the Bearcats. He's the only one with a catch over 30 yards. Woods is also the only receiver with over 100 yards receiving. He's got 13 grabs, 170 yards, 1 TD. Anthony McClung has been Mr. Red Zone, with 3 of his 8 catches being TDs. Kenbrell Thompkins has 6-78-1 TD. Shaq Washington, 1-1, has had 3 screens thrown to him so far in his career. Ardien Robinson's 13 yard TD against Tennessee was the first tight end catch of the season. To be very frank about it, I want the receivers to show me something. Get down the field, make a big play. Turn nothing into something. It seems too often it's catch and go down immediately. Let's get it in gear.
OL: The unit of Alex Hoffman, Randy Martinez, Evan Davis, Austen Bujonch, and Sean Hooey has been rock solid. UC had major line issues to start last season, and they've had nothing of the sort this season. Only 2 sacks on UC QBs for 17 yards. They haven't been penalized much at all. They did have a costly penalty against UT, so you would like to see them be flawless this week. I don't blame them for the short yardage plays not working. They were outnumbered on the line every time. They've been a good group. We should see a lot of Eric Lefeld, Sean McClellan, Dan Sprague, Andre Cureton and Cory Keebler.
DL: John Hughes has emerged as the top tackling lineman. He's got 10 this year, and 1 TFL. Walter Stewart has a team best 2.5 TFL. Stewart is actually tied for team best in TFL, because Derek Wolfe has 2.5 as well. He's also got 1 of the 2 UC sacks. Dan Giordano has just 4 tackles so far.
LB: JK Schaffer continues to be the tackling machine. After a modest opener, he's up to a team best 15 tackles to go with his 1 INT and 0.5 TFL. Maalik Bomar and Ben Pooler have 9 tackles, with Pooler forcing a fumble against UT. After the group checks out, look for a lot of Clemente Casseus, who was all over the field against AP. Dwight Jackson and Nick Temple, along with Solomon Tentman, will see some time.
DB: The secondary has a lot of tackles. Wes Richardson (12), Cam Cheatham (11) and Drew Frey (10) are tacklers 2-4 on the team. That is never a good thing. After the scorching against Tennessee, UC is giving up a 78% completion percentage, along with 4 TDs and 2 INTs. Only 14 passes have touched turf against the unit, which is unbelievably awful. Chris Williams has looked good, 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack. Dominique Battle is the listed starter on the depth chart this week, but he and Deven Drane have switched a lot.
Special Teams: It's gonna be RDA IV back taking kicks again, 31 yard average, with DJ Woods taking punts, 3 yard average. The kickoff job is up in the air for some reason. Tony Miliano still has his kicking job, where he is 2-3 on FGs, and 9-10 on extra points. Pat O'Donnell has a 42 yard average on his first 3 punts of the year, and should get no work tomorrow.
Coach: Rob Ianello 1-13
QB: Clayton Moore is the starter, and hasn't been very good. He's 18-42-246-0 TDs-2 INTs. He's been sacked 13 times for 80 lost yards. He was put down 8 against Temple. Moore has gained 63 yards on the ground, with a long of 14. His net is -3.
RB: Jawon Chishold is the leading rusher with 89 yards. His longest run has been for 35. Karl Bostick has 10 yards on 5 carries.
WR: Marquelo Suel is the top target, with 5 catches, 110 yards. Keith Sconiers has 4-48, Nick Rossi 3-27, Antoin Russell 2-60.
OL: The porous Akron line is Patrick McCloskey, Paul Simkovich, Adam Bice, Zac Kasparek, and Jake Anderson. Rhyne Ladrach at tight end has been used as another lineman. Only getting 1.4 yards a rush with the sacks. Without the sacks, it's 3.6 a pop.
Defense: Brian Wanger is the standout. He made 15 tackles against Ohio State, and has 22 on the season. Josh Richmond has made 14 stops, Jamar Williams 13, Dan Marcoux 11, and ShelDon Miller 11. The team leader in TFL is Anthony Holmes with 1. Miller, Hasan Hazime, Emmanuel Lartey and Oren Wilson all have 0.5 TFL. Holmes has broken up 3 passes. Williams, Bre' Ford and John Griggs have forced fumbles.
Special Teams: Antoin Russell is getting 18.5 a kick return, with a long of 42. AJ Price has taken 3 punts for 14 yards. Punter Zach Campbell has kicked 16 times with a 41.3 average, and 3 punts over 50. TJ Marchese is 1-2 for the season.
Keys to the game
Shut 'em down. Akron has 3 points this season. They have 18 first downs, 17 if you don't count the 1 via penalty. That's with only 3 turnovers. Their offense is highly inefficient. You want to see the hope just taken right out of them from jump street.
Pressure. UC has 2 sacks. I want to see double that tomorrow. Giordano hasn't done much, let's see him get one. Brandon Mills needs one. So do Stewart and Wolfe. It should be a meeting at the QB.
Deep passes. Obviously this one is kind of out of UC's hands on some possessions due to field position. But, they took no shots against Tennessee. They were unsuccessful in deep balls against AP. Enough of the dink and dunk, I want a deep ball on someone's ass.
15 touches for Isaiah Pead. He should get 20, but I'll settle for 15 tomorrow. That should be enough for him to get over 100 yards total offense.
Don't get hurt. Touched on this up top, but it's very important for no one to get hurt with the short turnaround.
Cincinnati didn't fuck around with Austin Peay. I don't think they will here. It's one of the worst FBS teams out there. I'm going high.
Cincinnati 63 Akron 6