Written by: Peter Palmer, WZIP Sports
The Akron Zips looked to improve their record this week to 2-1 while hosting the Iowa State Cyclones. The sun was beating down for a good day of football, but the weather soon turned cloudy which seemed to be the story for the Zips.
The Zips were held scoreless in the first quarter, being forced to punt their first three possessions and producing only 34 total yards. Meanwhile, Iowa State was quick to attack and took the lead 14-0 behind a 7-yard reception to Allen Lazard and a 1-yard carry by Mike Warren.
The momentum began to shift when Thomas Woodson hit Kwadarrius Smith in stride for a 45-yard touchdown pass halfway through the second quarter. Woodson started to heat up, completing 12-16 for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Unfortunately, a costly fumble led the Cyclones to maintain a 20-14 lead going into the half.
Akron couldn’t continue with its momentum as things started to fall apart in the second half. On the offensive side, Woodson wasn’t able to find a rhythm, threw an interception in the third quarter and didn’t produce any points before he was relieved by Kato Nelson who threw an interception of his own.
All day, Warren Ball wasn’t able to continue his offensive dominance that he showed last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This was true of all the rushers on the day, with Akron only having 38 rushing yards on the day.
The defensive side was a similar story. Aside from the two offensive turnovers giving the Cyclones good field position, Iowa State had an impressive 508 total yards resulting in 41 points on the day. Akron will need to regroup and improve their defensive coverage before next week’s game. The Zips fall to Iowa State 41-14 and become 1-2 on the season.
Next week, Akron will be tested again as they travel to face the Troy Trojans on the road. Kickoff is set for 6 PM on Saturday, September 23rd. This will be the first of two road games before the Zips come back to play in Infocision Stadium.
Offensive MVP: Leading the Zips in yards was Kwadarrius Smith, who was responsible for one of the two Akron touchdowns on the day. Despite only having three receptions, he was able to run for 76 yards on the day.
Defensive MVP: Continuing his high level of defense from last week, Ulysees Glibert led the Zips in tackles with 12. For a team that gave up 508 total yards to the Cyclones, Gilbert was able to mildly weather the storm. Hopefully he continues to show up for the Zips throughout the season.