The Akron Zips and Ohio Bobcats meet on Tuesday night for some MACtion. This is a great opportunity for the MAC on Tuesday nights. There isn’t any competition for them without any sports on at the moment. It’s college football and the NFL, so the MAC is going to have a monopoly for football on Tuesday and Wednesday. The MAC returned to action last week after the delayed start because of Covid. It’s good to have weekday football back with the Sun Belt and MAC.
Wednesday is another MACtion day with three more games on the schedule. We have three games on the bill tonight and tomorrow in the conference. Our first look in the MAC on Tuesday night will be in Athens at Ohio University, home of the Bobcats. Ohio played a competitive game against Central Michigan in Week 1 of the MAC last week.
They were close, but couldn’t close out the Chippewas. The win went to Central Michigan by a score of 30-27 off a field goal in the fourth quarter. Kurtis Rourke was fine under center, as he passed for 231 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Akron are fresh off a drubbing against the Western Michigan Broncos. Western Michigan isn’t a bad team, but Akron showed zero resistance. The Broncos made it look easy in all facets of the game in a 58-13 victory. Kaleb Eleby passed for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns, while four different members of the backfield hit paydirt for Western Michigan.
Akron might be entering Kent State territory from a few years ago. Kent State was embarrassingly bad then, and if Akron can’t get a healthy Kato Nelson back at quarterback, they’re going to continue to be horrible. Yeah, Akron won only one game last season, but at least they were competitive in some. Kent State were blown out repeatedly, which could be the case for Akron in 2020.
Nelson has passed for 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions on 52.3% passing through his three-year career. The senior underwent offseason surgery to repair an injury, and was ruled ineligible to play last week. Nelson missed the Western Michigan game because he wasn’t fully healed from the surgery. His status for Tuesday night is not clear, but it’s looking like he will miss his second game. Indiana transfer, Cole Gest, was also unavailable last week. Akron needs both on the field to be a competitive team. Head below for our free Akron vs. Ohio pick for November 10, 2020.
Akron Zips vs. Ohio Bobcats NCAAF Betting Odds:
Akron vs. Ohio Prediction:
With Nelson injured, Akron gave second-year freshman, Zach Gibson, made the third start of his career last week against Western Michigan. Gibson has passed for 550 yards with 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 53.2% completions. He’s a step down from Nelson, who is at least capable of running the offense effectively.
Gibson has not shown the ability to consistently march the offense down the field to score points. Gest transferred from Indiana to Akron and figured to play a role in the offense, but he has been unavailable thus far. No Nelson or Gest removes a big piece of their offensive ability. They were able to score just 13 points on an okay Western Michigan defense last week.
The defense had no answer for Western Michigan, as the Broncos rolled the Zips up for 58 points. There were three different running backs on Western Michigan that rushed for at least 6 yards per carry. Sean Tyler gashed Akron for 7.6 yards a carry, and La’Darius Jefferson ran for 7.8 yards per carry. Is that much of a surprise? No. Akron should be one of the worst defenses in the MAC, and continue to get pummeled against average offenses. A lack of depth up front leaves it really tough to get much push to stop anything.
The brother of Nathan Rourke, Kurtis Rourke, made a nice debut for the Bobcats in their opener against Central Michigan. He completed 12 passes on 19 attempts for 231 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ohio has also been inserting Armani Rogers as a running quarterback. He made 7 attempts for 32 yards on 4.6 yards per carry last week.
So, a bad Akron defense has two quarterbacks to worry about, along with running back De’Montre Tuggle in the backfield. Tuggle ran for 79 yards on 4.9 yards per carry and a score versus Central. Look for Akron to slowly lose control of this game. A tight game in the first should develop into a blowout, as Ohio wears the Zipz down on the ground. If Nelson does not start for Akron, Ohio has to be worth a look in win by more than four touchdowns.