September 21, 2007

Game Preview: Akron

Dating back to 1923, Akron holds a 27-20-2 advantage over Kent State heading into the 50th all-time meeting between neighborhood rivals on Saturday at the Rubber Bowl in Akron. In the annual battle for the Wagon Wheel-the trophy given to the winner of the game-Kent State leads 19-16-1; however, Akron is 10-7-1 in games played at the Rubber Bowl.

While there have been several lopsided contests, the average score for both teams in this game is tied at 19.

Since the 2000 season, Akron has won five games while Kent State has won just two, but the statistics are nearly identical:















(Per game averages)
Kent State
Akron
Wins
2
5
Points For
126 (18)
208 (30)
Passes Attempted
205 (29)
195 (28)
Passes Completed
119 (17)
118 (17)
Completion Percentage
58%
61%
Rush Attempts
295 (42)
284 (41)
Rushing Yards
1,374 (196)
1,340 (191)
First Downs
132 (19)
133 (19)
Fumbles-Lost
17-10
6-4
Penalties-Yards
47-358
43-429
Time of Possession
211:26 (30:18)
208:34 (29.82)

This season the Golden Flashes are off to a 2-1 start with a win 23-14 win at Iowa State, a BCS conference school. The Zips opened the season with a 22-14 win over Army at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but lost two straight games-a 20-2 setback to Ohio State in Columbus and a 41-24 loss at Indiana.

But throw out the records, this is a rivalry.

"We talked about Akron more than we talked about Iowa State, Delaware State, Kentucky; it's all about beating Akron--14 miles down the road," said Kent State senior cornerback Jack Williams.

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