Preview 2017: Akron Has Reason To Hope Again
After a down year, Akron should be able to bounce back and be a factor in the MAC race.
It was supposed to be a rebuilding season after a terrific 8-5 2015 chart closed out with a shocking bowl win over Utah State, and it all started out so well with a 5-3 start and another bowl appearance almost a near-certainty.
But the defense that was so nasty two years ago collapsed, the team inexplicably got rolled by awful Buffalo and Bowling Green squads, and a four-game losing streak ended the year with a thud.
Does that mean it’s a make-or-break season for head coach Terry Bowden?
The bowl campaign made it look like the building job was complete and Akron was going to be a player in the MAC, but now Bowden is 24-37 with three 5-7 seasons and four losing campaigns in five years. He’s a great coach who’s done a solid job in a tough situation, but a winning season would be nice.
The basics of the team are strong, with a great-looking offense that should be balanced and explosive to make up for massive losses on defense. There’s just enough in place to expect a second bowl game in three seasons, and Bowden and his staff should be able to turn this group into a sleeper if the D is just okay.
There might not be massive expectations at Akron, but it’s not asking for much to close strong this time around.