Akron Zips’ fans had a smile on their face Saturday, and its been a long time coming.
The Zips (2-5, 1-3) beat the Miami Redhawks (0-7, 0-3) 24-17 to get their first FBS win since 2010, a streak of 28 consecutive games. Coach Terry Bowden, son of Florida State legend Bobby Bowden, helped Akron get its first MAC win in over 2 years, and only his third win overall in two seasons at the helm.
Akron fans hoped that bringing in Bowden would help make the Zips competitive. Yet so far, Bowden is only 3-17 in his first 20 games as head coach. The program has not fared much better over the past few seasons as well, compiling a 13-55 record since the start of the 2008 season. But after a close brush with Michigan this season and Saturday’s victory, fans must feel a lot better about the direction of the Zips.
Though Akron has struggled in pretty much every offensive and defensive category this season, the running game was a major problem in the last three games for the Zips. They averaged only 87 rushing yards per game during losses to Bowling Green, Ohio, and Northern Illinois. But on Saturday, junior running back Jawon Chisholm almost matched that total himself, running for 86 yards and three touchdowns against the Redhawks. However, Akron still have a lot of work to do to improve its 111th ranked rushing offense.
Unfortunately for the Zips, winning will not come as easy this Saturday as they take on Ball State, who is 7-1 on the season. Still, the signs of progress are starting to show this season for this long-suffering program.