Best Worst Game Of The Week: Akron v. Toledo

Finally. I’ve finally picked a BWGOTW matchup correctly. I even nearly got the differential right, too!

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Last week, Rutgers beat Illinois by 11. It was definitely something. I won’t harp on it too much for two reasons. 1, because I didn’t actually watch the game, and B, because it doesn’t matter regardless.

You wanna know what has mattered for the test of time? Wanna know what mattered in conflicts between settlers and Native Americans? And in automobile making? And in presidential elections?

The state of Ohio, of course. That brings me to this week’s Best Worst Game Of The Week: Akron Zips (4-3) vs. Toledo Rockets (5-1).

Both schools are in the MAC, and both are situated in northern corners of the Buckeye State. I would’ve bet that they’re rivals of some sort, but extensive research proves that they’re not considered as such. Regardless, let’s get into it.

We’ve touched on Toledo before, as a matter of fact. And no, it’s not solely due to our excellent MAC coverage by Elliot. It’s because of their star: Logan Woodside.

The senior from Frankfort, Kentucky is the engine that makes the Rockets go (see what I did there?). On the year, he’s thrown for 11 touchdowns and over 1,700 yards, with only one interception. He’s completing passes just below the 64% mark; it’s not his best over his career, but it’s still pretty impressive. There’s a lot of time between now and the NFL Draft, but he’s a name I think you might want to keep in mind… and I say that without my trademarked sarcasm, either. Woodside is good.

The Toledo offense, in general, is good. They put up about 36 points per game with 484 total yards. While Woodside is the guy, he’s not a one-man show. Senior Terry Swanson from Aliquippa, PA (aka Footballtown, USA) has rushed for 500 yards on only 100 tries, for seven scores. While the Rockets like to spread the wealth aerially, they’ve got two big guns: Cody Thompson (28 catches, 537 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Diontae Johnson (30 catches 492 yards, 5 touchdowns). While the defense hasn’t been particularly great, they’re on a hot streak, holding their last two opponents to less than 17 points.

Akron started off the year in Happy Valley against Penn State. In case you can’t imagine how that game went, I’ll tell you – they lost 52-Zip (again, see what I did there? I’m clever today.). That game kickstarted a 1-3 beginning to the 2017 campaign, but the Zips haven’t quit. They’ve rattled off three straight W’s, including edging Western Michigan last week by one point.

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What catches my eye when I look at this team is their defense. They gave up 52 and 41 points in games early on, but since then, have settled down. Akron has given up 23 points or less in their last four games, and they’ve forced a healthy 12 turnovers on the year, headlined by cornerback Kyron Brown (above) and linebacker John Lako. Offensively, they’ve been inconsistent. Thomas Woodson has had flashes of brilliance and flashes of pure questionable decision-making, both when throwing and when running.

It’s fun to make jokes about MACtion, but this one actually has implications for both squads, as they’re both undefeated in conference play.

As good as Akron is at taking the ball away, I think Woodside will be a little too much for them to handle. If you ask me, he’s the best quarterback they will see this year (yeah, including Trace McSorley), and he’s shown the ability to pick apart defenses over his four years in northwestern Ohio. I like the Rockets by 11.

You can check this game out on Saturday at high noon on ESPN3. Toledo is a beautiful world-class decent city, so if you want to treck it to the Glass Bowl, it’ll be at least $23 for a spot.

 

Cover photo from Rukkus.

Other media from from GFYCat, ZipsNation.org.

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