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Akron (1-1) at (11) Michigan (2-0)



Saturday, September 14, 12:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 11th-ranked Michigan Wolverines take aim at their 17th straight victory in The Big House as they host the Akron Zips for a non- conference matchup.

The Zips are coming off a hard-fought, 35-33 victory over James Madison that improved their record to 1-1. Now in his second season as Akron's head coach, Terry Bowden has yet to defeat an FBS opponent with the program. Akron has finished just 1-11 in each of the past three seasons. This will be its second road game of the 2013 campaign. The Zips suffered a 38-7 setback at UCF in their season opener. They have not won back-to-back games since 2008.

The Wolverines are fresh off a 41-30 win over Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium in what was one of the marquee matchups of week two. The victory marked the 400th for the program at Michigan Stadium and the team's current 16-game win streak in The Big House is the longest active home winning streak among BCS conference teams. The Wolverines are 21-7 under coach Brady Hoke, who is 2-1 against Akron in his career.

This will be the first meeting in history between these schools. Hoke faced the Zips three times when he was the head coach of MAC rival Ball State. Bowden is 1-0 versus Michigan in his career thanks to Auburn's 34-13 win over the Wolverines in 1995.

Akron's first-year offensive coordinator A.J. Wilwee decided to employ a two- quarterback system for the team's bout with JMU. The gameplan worked well as Nick Hirschman and Kyle Pohl threw two touchdowns each to help Akron overcome an early 13-0 deficit. Pohl, who started under center, finished 14-of-22 for 143 yards with two touchdowns to one interception. Hirschman amassed 144 yards and three total touchdowns, while completing 6-of-10 pass attempts. Both passers should see action in Ann Arbor.

Akron's receiving corps is very deep as 11 different players have made multiple receptions already. The leader of the group is 5-foot-6, 138-pound freshman Fransohn Bickley, who has made six catches for 61 yards. Sophomore Zach D'Orazio has reeled in two of the team's five touchdown receptions while fellow sophomore Andrew Pratt's 118 yards on three catches makes him the team's most effective target.

Although the Zips frequently passed the ball, junior tailback Jawon Chisholm still came up 47 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark in 2012. He showed solid improvement in terms of efficiency as his yards per carry average rose from 4.4 to 5.3. Chisholm was bottled up by UCF in the opener, but picked up 87 yards against the Dukes.

Akron's defensive coordinator Chuck Amato has not been able to turn his unit into one opposing offenses fear. The Zips allowed their FCS opponent to gain 498 yards of total offense and achieve 26 first downs in their last appearance. The Dukes were moving the ball with ease on their final drive, but ran out of time before they could take the lead one final time. Junior linebacker Johnny Robinson has registered 15 total stops, including one for loss through two games.

The Zips' defense will have their toughest assignment yet in Ann Arbor. Michigan junior quarterback Devin Gardner's dual-threat ability is going to make him extremely difficult to contain. Notre Dame had no answer for Gardner as he went 21-of-33 passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns. He also gained 82 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries to lead the team in rushing. Gardner has accounted for at least two touchdowns in seven consecutive games dating back to last season.

Jeremy Gallon was on the receiving end of three of Gardner's touchdown passes last week. Gallon finished the game with a career-high 184 yards and eight receptions, both of those totals were more than double that of any of his teammates. Tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint was the second on the team in receiving yards thanks to his one reception that went for 31 yards. Toussaint also rushed 22 times for 71 yards.

"We'd still like to run the ball better from the tailback position, I think that's always going to be a constant," said Hoke. "If we can control the line of scrimmage and do that, then make sure we're targeting the perimeter the right way."

Against the Fighting Irish's talented offensive unit, Michigan registered a pair of interceptions and made two stops on fourth down. The Wolverines allowed 410 yards of total offense to Notre Dame, but they were a lot less generous in their season opening win over Central Michigan, which they held to just 210 yards.

Raymon Taylor has registered a team-best 15 total tackles along with an interception through the first two games. Blake Countess has made a strong return from the knee injury that kept him out for the majority of the 2012 season. The redshirt sophomore made the first two interceptions of his career to go along with six tackles in the win over Notre Dame. Countess started the final six games of the 2011 season, including the Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.

"The main thing is that every week is important," said Michigan senior wideout Drew Dileo. "Last week the night game against Notre Dame was important and this week Akron at noon is important. Regardless of the team, the conference, or anything like that, this week it's Akron."

Bowden is making clear progress at Akron, but the Zips have a long way to go before they will be able to challenge a powerhouse like Michigan. Gardner should have no problem keeping his momentum going. The Wolverines' defense should be able to cause turnovers by pressuring Akron's inexperienced quarterbacks.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 56, Akron 10

09/11 10:32:54 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0