70 Akron Zips Preview Spring practices are in the books

70 Akron Spring practices are in the books and fall camps will be here before you know it so that means getting an early jump on the 2006 NCAA football season. Knowing the teams now will save you time in August and Matt Fargo is here to help you get a grasp of what to expect this upcoming year. We go from worst to first in this 2006 College Football Preview.

#70 – Akron Zips 7-6 SU; 7-6 ATS Fargo’s Take Akron was the surprise of the MAC last season, winning three of its final four games to make it to the MAC Championship where it defeated Northern Illinois in a classic battle. Talk of repeat seems like a stretch so it should come as no surprise that the Zips will be aggressive in 2006. They are very experienced along the 70 Akron

70 Akron Spring practices are in the books and fall camps will be here before you know it so that means getting an early jump on the 2006

offense line with seasoned experience while the defense returns the most starters of any team in the MAC. Akron averaged 21.5 ppg on offense and while the defense allowed over 40 ppg, that won’t happen again. The Zips paid great attention to this season’s schedule, opening with a road game at capacity and following with a home contest against North Texas. They have also done battle in non-conference action where they are 19-3 SU, 16-5 ATS over that span.

70 Akron Returning Starters on Offense

8 The offense increased its scoring production by over a touchdown from 2004 and with most of the players returning, a few holes could be filled. The starting quarterback job is fully open but it looks like it could be spelled by a true freshman while the rushing game looks to be a strong point. Four starters are back on the offensive line including three seniors so experience will play a big role in the success of the running game. The passing game used to be kings but Akron averaged justpsy hardway last season, completing just 50.5 percent of its passes while putting up a touchdown less per game. Quarterback James Pinkney is highly touted and he has led the Zips in passing the last two seasons, completingof 78.4 percent of his passes in 2004 and completing acouple of Touchdowns in each of the last two years.

Returning Starters on Defense – 9 This is where the Zips are going to have to shine if they are to make a second consecutive appearance in the MAC Championship. Nine starters are back along with nine seniors so theomeday have the MAC’s best defense in 2006. The rushing defense,

ranked 114th last season, has allowed a whopping 7.1 ypc over the last two years, improving the unit to the top ranked in the MAC heading into the season. Just how good is it? The Zips allowed a whoppingPG less than they did in 2004.8 Arizona, who finished 2005 with the most rushing yards in the conference, also ranked #1 in the Pac Ten last season.

Schedule At first glance, the schedule looks pretty tough

taking into account that the Zips have played the 6th easiest schedule in the conference and that they have a home game against Baltimore thrown in. That said, four of their five conference games are at home and the away games don’t look so tough with a home game against Utah and a road

contest at revenge-minded Fresno State. It’s going to be a tough 6-10 week schedule once the conference slate starts but the first two weeks should be nearly a cakewalk with the home games against Rutgers and California being the most difficult challenges. The season finale is at home against a very young Akron team and that game should decide the division.

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