College Football Predictions – Akron Zips 2019 College Football Preview
Record – 4-8
ATS – 5-7
The Zips got off to a fine 4-3 start and captured the hearts of millions when they were able to SHOCK THE WORLD at Northwestern and come away with a 39-34 victory. Never mind that they seemed to score a defensive TD every five minutes, they still get full marks for finding a way to get it done. The season spiraled out of control at the mid-season mark and they lost their last five contests.
Let’s see what new HC Tom Arth has at his disposal this year.
2019 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating
East Division – #5
MAC – #11
Akron Zips 2019 Outlook
The Zips were HIDEOUS on offense last season and finished #126 in the FBS in total offense (294 PPG) and #124 in scoring offense (18.9 PPG). They couldn’t run the ball (95 YPG) and gave up 34 sacks. Looking forward, we are pleased to report that the Zips have a capable dual-threat QB in Kato Nelson, and that is a great place to start with the new quick-hitting passing offense being implemented this year.
The RB group is a bit of an unknown and one of our biggest concerns with the team. Deltron Sands is the leading returning back and he only picked up 128 yards on the ground in 2018. The WR room is stocked pretty nicely and Andre Williams is a legit #1 option (46-639, 14.1, 6 TD LY). We have confidence that Nelson will be able to do some damage through the air but he needs to be more consistent (52% completions LY). The OL returns three starters but were a mess last season and will be learning a new system in 2019.
We predict an increase in production to the level that was achieved by the 2017 squad (22 PPG) with potential for a bit more if Nelson can take a step forward in his junior season.
The Zips played solid defense more often than not during the Terry Bowden regime and last season was no exception. They allowed an acceptable 27 PPG (#6 MAC) despite playing some tough out-of-conference foes (Northwestern, South Carolina, Iowa St). New DC Matt Feeney has his work cut out for him this year as the Zips return just three (!) starters and many of the key playmakers from a season ago. That includes former star DL Jamal Davis who racked up an impressive 5.5 sacks, 16 TFL and 6 QBH in 2018.
The situation at DL is quite worrisome and the Zips only bring back one starter to the mix, although at least that man is DE Josh Ward who tallied four sacks a season ago. The best news is that leading tackler John Lako (126) returns and he managed to tally 10 TFL in 2018. The pass defense goes from being a strength (#3 MAC pass efficiency D) to a potential problem area with just one starter back for battle. Let’s end on a good note. FS Alvin Davis was a MAGIC MAN vs Northwestern with a pair of INT return TDs and he is back to lead the back end of the defense.
Akron has yielded less than 30 PPG in five of the last six years but we are quite certain they will go over that threshold quite easily this year.
The Zips take a yuuuge hit with the loss of their PK,P Nick Gasser. Jeremiah Knight is back to return punts and kickoffs and he took a punt to the HOUSE LY. Knight struggled on KO returns (15.3 avg).
Overall – It’s not too bad. Their out-of-conference slate is a lot easier than what they faced last year (at Illinois, UAB, Troy, at UMass) and they avoid Toledo out of the MAC West.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing ominous to report.
Season Win Total
Over 3.5 +135
Under 3.5 -155
It’s hard to see this team getting to four wins, but we’re not crazy about laying that kind of juice. Taking a pass for now.
In 1926, the Akron athletic teams were named the ‘Zippers’ after rubber boots manufactured in Akron at the time. The name was shortened to the ZIPS in 1950. Don’t say we fail deliver TRIVIA NUGGETS.
John HEISMAN was Akron’s first football and baseball coach (1893).
MEGALOCKS ATS Outlook: Negative
It looks like a tough season ahead for the Zips. The goal should be to get things settled under the new coaching staff and improve as the season goes along, and maybe pull off a big upset or two. Any goal loftier than that is just unrealistic.
We all know a CROWD-WILL-BE-ROCKING GUY who loses money every year in the arena of college football prognostication. Case in point. Akron is just 20-37-2 ATS (35%) at home over the past ten years. We have a negative outlook for Akron vs the point spread and would be especially careful adding them to a betting card when they are at home.
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