Akron Zips Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Air Force season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Akron Zips Preview
Head Coach: Joe Moorhead, 1st year at Akron
7th year overall, 52-25
2021 Record: Overall: 2-10, Conference: 1-7
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Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
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Akron Zips Preview 2022
It’s been a rough run for the Akron program. The last winning season was 2015, the last bowl appearance was 2017, and the fans enjoyed a grand total of three wins over the last three years – two of them against Bowling Green.
But the program got a good one in new head coach Joe Moorhead. He rocked in four years at Fordham, was great as the offensive coordinator at Penn State, and he was fine Mississippi State for two years before getting shoved out. The guy knows offense – he handled the Oregon attack over the last few years – and now he has to work minor miracles to get the up-tempo attack going.
Akron Zips Preview 2022: Offense
The coaching will be better and the system should be stronger, but the offensive playmakers have to emerge. None of that matters if the offensive line isn’t far, far better after finishing last in the nation in sacks allowed, and without much of a running game to count on. For good and for bad, just two steady starters return to the front around veteran LT Xavior Gray.
Now the running attack has to follow. Minnesota transfer Cam Wiley was a great get to help bump up the production along with leading rusher Jonzell Norrils. The Zips only ran for 1,463 yards and eight scores – that’s about to change.
Zach Gibson took over the quarterback duties last year, but now he’s off to Georgia Tech. DJ Irons is a very big, very interesting quarterback who wasn’t all that bad before getting banged up. He’s a potential playmaker to work around, but leading receiver Konata Mumpfield is gone to Pitt and second-leading target Michael Mathison is done, too.
There are parts around TE Tristian Bank including LSU transfer Alex Adams – the system will make the receivers shine.
Akron Zips Preview 2022: Defense
The D might take a little while longer to get going than the offense. The Zips didn’t do much on the offensive side, and they really didn’t do much for long stretches defensively. There wasn’t enough of a pass rush and the run defense was among the worst in the nation.
On the plus side, the Zips are loaded with veteran tacklers. Jeslord Boateng leads the a good-sized linebacking corps with a decent number of options. The hitters are there, but the pass rush has to come from some where – Boateng and two others tied for the team lead with 1.5 sacks. There’s just enough bulk to work in a good rotation on the nose.
There’s a good chance the secondary is among the team’s biggest strengths if it gets any help from the pass rush. Senior Charles Amankwaa led the team with three picks, Jaylen Kelly-Powell is a good hitter with 73 tackles last season, and there’s enough versatility to play around with the options.