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September 13, 2013 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-13
Note:
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Akron Breakdown:
-Backups to see field

Zipping right along

By MATT SLOVIN
ManagingEditor
The No. 11 Michigan football
team is a 37-point favorite over
Akron (1-1) after remaining unbeat-
en with a win over Notre Dame
under the lights last weekend. The
coaching staff has said that a let-
down is unlikely because of the
senior leadership that should allow
the team to keep its focus despite
facing a weaker opponent.
This will be the first-ever meet-
ing between the two schools,
though the Wolverines are 32-1
Sall-time against teams currently in.
the Mid-American Conference. It
will also be Michigan's second and
final meeting of the season against
a team from a non-BCS conference.
Michigan pass offense vs. Akron
pass defense
Through twogames, the Zips are
just outside of the bottom-10 FBS
teams in passing yards allowed.
Against FCS school James Madi-
'AA on, Akron allowed 310 pass-
ing yards and three touchdowns
through the air; defense is clearly
not the Zips' strength.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines'
aerial attack picked apart a Notre
Dame secondary that forced turn-
over after turnover in the two
teams' meeting last year. Redshirt
junior quarterback Devin Gardner
looked far more comfortable than
he did in Week 1 against Central
Michigan, perhaps an indication
that time is what it will take to
limit his mistakes when outside the
pocket.
Gardner and fifth-year senior
wide receiver Jeremy Gallon pose a
formidable duo that should be able
to connect at will against a Zips sec-
ondary that has shown little ability
to stop weaker teams.
Edge: Michigan
Michigan rush offense vs. Akron
rush defense
IOAMichigan fifth-year senior tail-
back Fitzgerald Toussaint took 22
of the 23 carries by a running back
in the win over Notre Dame. Expect
a healthy mix of backs to see action
against the Zips.
In part because of the still-

By EVERETT COOK
Daily SportsEditor
There's a football game on Sat-
urday. That's about it.
Beyonce will
not be making a
an appearance ArOn ait
on the video Michigan
board for this
one. There's a Akronp:
good chance Akron -
Eminem will
not be in the When: Satur-
booth. There day 12 p.m.
will be no Col- Where: Michi-
lege GameDay gan Stadium
shows with TV:
chickens, nor ESPN
massive pre-
games with hoards of alumni in
town.
The game that followed one of
the biggest spectacles in Michi-
gan football history was going to
be a letdown no matter the oppo-
nent, but it doesn't help that the
Wolverines' opponent Saturday
is a team that barely beat an FCS
opponent last weekend.
Saturday, Akron (1-1) travels
to Ann Arbor for the first time in
program history in a game that
has potential for a letdown but
will almost certainly not be close.
Linesmakers have Michigan (2-0)
as a 37-point favorite, and the ath-
letic department is giving the first
5,000 students that show up free
doughnuts. Something to keep
everyone entertained, at least for
a few minutes.
Last weekend, while Michigan
was battling on national televi-
sion for Under the Lights II, the
Zips were going down to the wire
against James Madison, which
doesn't play at the FBS level.
Akron held on for the win but was
outgained by 150 yards and would
have lost if not for a muffed two-

point conversion.
For Michigan, Saturday will
be another good tune-up and a
chance to get some of the fresh-
men who played against Central
Michigan, but not against Notre
Dame, back on the field. Specifi-
cally, the running back situation
will be interesting to watch.
Against Central Michigan, all
six running backs saw the field,
including freshman Derrick
Green, who ran well enough to
earn himself the lead backup spot
behind fifth-year senior Fitzger-
ald Toussaint. Against Notre
Dame, though, Toussaint got
every carry except for two. Those
went to Green, who lost a yard
and didn't carry the ball again,
and Jeremy Gallon on a reverse.
That won't be the case against
Akron.
"We can get some experience to
some other guys if we're fortunate
enough to do that," said Michigan
coach Brady Hoke. "That would
be a real positive."
Besides just earning field
experience, Hoke says the Zips'
schemes will be a good change of
pace for his younger backup run-
ning backs.
"From a defensive perspective
for them, they're very aggressive,"
Hoke said. "You know, they like to
blitz, they like to play zero cover-
age, they like to play man free. So
they'll stack the line of scrimmage
a little bit and you have to take
advantage of the shots you get."
All jokes aside, every football
team needs games like this. Not
everybody is going to play against
Notre Dame, but everyone will
play against Akron.
That part - the challenge of
depth against a different team -
will be the real test on Saturday.
The final score, however lopsided
it may be, is almost irrelevant.

Freshman running back De'Veon Smith is a backup who might see time Saturday.

developing interior offensive line,
Toussaint didn't have the holes
to run through that he would've
liked, though he still accumulated
71 yards. Freshmen Derrick Green
and De'Veon Smith should see their
workloads increase against a Zips
team that allowed 3.7 yards per
carry against James Madison last
week.
This feels like the type of game
where the offensive line can con-
tinue to learn from game experi-
ence with alot of rushes with ample
success.
Edge: Michigan
Akron pass offense vs. Michigan
pass defense

Michigan rush defense
Jawon Chisholm has emerged as
the leading rusher out of the Akron
backfield. A spread offense limits
the numbers of carries he actually
gets, though.
Michigan didn't allow many
rushing yards (96) against Notre
Dame, but the Wolverines also
didn't have the ball pounded down
their throats repeatedly. The Fight-
ing Irish mostly stuck with the
pass, and the Zips should too.
Edge: Michigan
Special teams
Akron has yet to attempt a field
goalthis season, and redshirtsenior

The Zips' offense is led, for the kicker Brendai
most part, by quarterback Kyle to be automati
Pohl. Nick Hirschman, a transfer Sophomore
out of Colorado, also takes snaps at nis Norfleet ht
quarterback. balls cleanly bu
Michigan's secondary is coming to break one.
off a huge game with an inspired Edge: Michi
performance from redshirt sopho-
more cornerback Blake Countess, Intangibles
who secured his first and second
career interceptions against the If Michigani
Fighting Irish. The pass defense down game th
should have a much easier time ably isn't it. Th
against Akron than. against Notre worst team on1
Dame's talented receiving corps, This one w
even if the pressure from the quickly and she
defensive line hasn't yet met Brady gan second-str
Hoke's standards. halftime.
Edge: Michigan

n Gibbons continues
c for the Wolverines.
return man Den-
as struggled to catch
it is a constant threat
gan
is going to have a let-
is season, this prob-
ie Zips are likely the
the schedule.
ill get out of hand
could have the Michi-
ingers in by around
IRE: Michigan 52,

FINAL SCO
Akron 10

Central Michigan rush offense vs.

Freshman running back Derrick Green had only one carry against Notre Dame.
TheMichiganDaily - www.michigandaily.com14

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