What You Need To Know About The Akron Offense
– The offense sputtered and struggled without any one thing it could do well. Six starters are back for offensive coordinator A.J. Milwee to work with, and he’s going to try getting more out of the running game.
Van Edwards is back only ran for 343 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t get any room to move. Leading rusher Manny Morgan and Warren Ball are gone, and the depth isn’t there, but after finishing last in the MAC in rushing and coming up with 1,475 yards and 14 scores, the Zips are going to try to grind a bit.
– The offensive line has to do its part. The left side is set with Trevor Brown and Brandon Council returning, and Kyle Ritz is a veteran right guard, but the group has to start being far, far more productive. It was way too easy to blow past these guys to get into the backfield, and again, there was no running game, but the starting five should be fine.
– Kato Nelson is the offense. The sophomore quarterback is going to be a key part of the ground game – if not the main man for long stretches – and he’s got the receivers to work with. Four of the top five pass catchers from last year are gone, but there isn’t much of a worry.
Kwadarrius Smith is one of the MAC’s most dangerous receivers – averaging over 21 yards per catch with seven scores – 6-3, 230-pound Mykel Traylor-Bennett might finally be back after a slew of injury problems, and the young talent should make the passing game better.
Biggest Key To The Akron Offense
No, really. Figure out how to run the ball. How bad was the Akron ground game? It failed to hit the 180-yard mark against any FBS team, and five of the 14 rushing scores came against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Take out that game, and the Zips averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the season.
The O just didn’t work, failing to average more than four yards per carry in any of the last eight games and only running for 100 yards three times turning the span.