Akron was one of the worst teams in college football last season with an 0-12 record, and this season’s outlook seems bleak at best.
Second year head coach Tom Arth hopes to turn things around for the Zips but with only 11 players returning from the 2019 team he will have to get done with less experience.
Akron travels to Clemson on Sept. 19 to play at Memorial Stadium in what could be one of the most lopsided games in either teams’ history.
If there is one positive for this team offensively, they return a senior quarterback in Kato Nelson, but the Zips return only two wide receivers and have to replace their running back. On the offensive line they need to replace their entire left side and find a new right tackle.
Overall, some turnover may boost an offense that was the only unit in the FBS to average less than one point per offensive possession. Akron also ranked last in points per play and yards per possession. A more mature Clemson defense does not bode well for an offense needing a boost.
Akron does not look much better on the other side of the ball, they surrendered over 30 points nine times last year and lost three of their top four tacklers. They do return their second-best tackler at linebacker in junior Bubba Arslanian, who will look to take steps to lead a young defense in 2020.
In the secondary, the Zips return three of four starters, which will help in MAC play later in the year, but they still bring back just three interceptions from 2019.
Sophomore Cory Smigel returns at placekicker after connecting on 5-of-6 field goals and junior punter Jonah Wieland averaged 37.7 yards per punt last season.
Akron’s athletic department is reeling from the effects of coronavirus and already cut three sports. The team also failed to participate in a single spring practice this spring before the pandemic shut down the NCAA.
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