2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 112 Akron Zips
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Akron Zips
No. 112: Akron Zips
Akron Zips Prespring Status
The Zips might have gone 5-7, but it was a better year than expected – to a point. There needed to be a total rebuild in some areas, but they were still able to start out 5-3, before losing the last four games. The team got worse as the season went on, shockingly getting blown out by Buffalo and losing to Bowling Green, and now there’s even more work to do. The defense that was so lousy – especially compared to 2015 – needs to come up with several changes, while the offense has to find a ground game again.
Akron Zips Biggest Issue
The D that finished 114th in the nation needs even more reworking. The top four tacklers are back, but the next four are gone along with the two top defensive ends. There wasn’t much of a pass rush to begin with, and now Jamal Marcus is gone off of one end spot – pass rushers have to come from somewhere on the line. Losing DeAndre Scott from one corner spot hurts, especially with Larry Hope done on the other side from a secondary that needs three new starters and loses a few key backups.
Akron Zips Biggest Positive
Losing two key receivers – JoJo Natson and Jerome Lane – is a problem, but the quarterback situation should be strong with Thomas Woodson back along with Tra’Von Chapman, who helped the Zips hit over 3,000 passing yards. Health was an issue for the quarterbacks throughout last season, but along with all five starters back up front, and with Van Edwards and the key running backs returning, the offense should be better and more consistent.
Really, Why Are The Akron Zips Ranked Here?
On the one side, Akron did just about everything wrong in several ways – penalties, turnovers, run defense – and was still a win away from going bowling. On the other side, Akron has to come up with a more consistent season in an improved MAC. Head coach Terry Bowden has put together a solid program with the potential to rise up and be a factor if everyone can stay healthy. There are lots and lots of areas, though, that need a big improvement.