PARKERSBURG -After completing the first half of its football season unblemished, Ohio begins the second half of the campgain at 2 p.m. today against visiting Akron, which will provide the opposition.
Any way you look at this game, it appears to be a mismatch. The Cats are 6-0, the Zips are 1-5, with their only victory over Mogran State. Last year, when the teams met in Akron on Oct. 22, Ohio rolled to a 37-20 win, its fourth straight in the series.
Ohio is coming off its second straight lackluster performance, last Saturday's 38-31 win over Buffalo at Peden Stadium, a game in which the Cats recovered three fumbles and had to hang on to stay undefeated. The previous week, Massachusetts gave Ohio all it wanted at Gillette Stadium before the Cats escaped Foxborough with a 37-34 win. With those wins, Ohio became bowl eligible.
Ohio is one of just 15 undefeated teams in the nation, and is ready to crack the top 25 in the Associated Press poll of sports writers. The Bobcats received 79 ratings points, good for 26th place in the latest weekly poll.
Akron is coached by Terry Bowden, a 1978 graduate of West Virginia University and the son of legendary coach Bobby Bowden. Terry Bowden coached Auburn University to an undefeated season in 1993, when the school was on probation and not eligible to compete for the national championship. Bowden was hired by Akron last December to turn around the Zips football fortunes, as Akron was 2-22 the previous two seasons under Rob Ianello.
Several members of the Bobcats roster can put themselves in the school record book today. Junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton will become the school's all-time career leader in touchdown passes with his next six-point aerial.
Who: Akron (1-5)
at Ohio (6-0)
What: Mid-American Conference game
When: 2 p.m. today
Where: Peden Stadium
Junior running back Beau Blankenship needs 155 rushing yards to become the eighth individual in school history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a single season.
Wide receiver Dante Foster is two TDs shy of becoming No. 5 all-time on the Bobcats' career TD reception list.
One Bobcat tied a school record last week. Freshman running back Daz Patterson returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD against Buffalo, matching Donte Harden's effort in 2008 at Wyoming.
Ohio got some bad news as senior captain Travis Carrie, named to the 2012 Thorpe Award Watch List, will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Carrie was hurt during preseason camp.
Ohio sits atop the MAC in offense, producing 26.8 points per game. Akron, meanwhile is tied for third at 33.8 points per contest. Defense is where there is a wide difference. Ohio is surrendering 22.8 points per game, third in the MAC, while Akron is giving up a whopping 38.3 points per game, ranking the Zips 11th in the league.