The University of Akron Football team kicks off the season with the home opener against Morgan State this Saturday at 3:30 pm.
After their first game was cancelled due to weather, the Zips will feature for the first time this season on their own grounds. Five of their seven wins and only one loss were at home last year. They have played Morgan State at home on two previous occasion – both of which were blowout wins for the roos and milestones in Akron. The first was the first game played in Infocision stadium, and the other was Head Coach Terry Bowdon’s first game at home for Akron.
Akron is returning a number of familiar faces during the 2018 season. Senior Ulysees Gilbert, who recorded 141 tackles, 9.5 TFL, five sacks, three interceptions, and a fumble in 2017, is a two-time All-MAC LB. Gilbert was also voted by his teammates to be a captain. WR Kwadarrius Smith saw a breakout in 2017 with 726 yards and seven touchdowns. Speed is Smith’s top weapon. He can use it to create space between defenders and attack zones. He will look to get over the top for QB Kato Nelson. Nelson started in place of suspended QB Thomas Woodson in 2017. He threw 70-140 for 989 yards, and 8 touchdowns. His playing style is different than Woodson’s, so it should prove exciting to see how the offense will shape out around Nelson.
Morgan State is 0-1 on the season after a week one loss to Towson. They are being coached by their defensive coordinator, Ernest Jones, as an interim coach.