The Akron Zips take on the Miami Ohio Redhawks in a MAC battle on Saturday afternoon. The Zips earned their second win of the season in a convincing road win over Bowling Green last week. The Redhawks couldn’t find any offense in a narrow road loss to Eastern Michigan in their previous action. The Redhawks tallied a 38-7 victory in November of last season.
Akron Stuns Bowling Green in First MAC Win
The Akron Zips have already matched last year’s conference win total of one. They dropped their MAC opener to Ohio and rebounded with a dominating 35-20 road triumph against Bowling Green last week in a tilt that had the Zips labeled as large 13 point dogs. The victory marked Akron's first win against an FBS opponent. Their other win came against Bryant of the FCS.
Kato Nelson split the duties with Zach Gibson at QB last week. Nelson has 281 passing yards in limited action while Gibson has 215 including a 177-yard effort last week. The Zips' #1 QB DJ Irons sat out last week and is questionable. Nelson is also questionable. Akron prefers to run led by the mobile QB Irons who has 240 yards.
Blake Hester rushed for a season-best 120 yards last week and has 226 yards on the year. Konata Mumpfield continues to shine. The freshman WR has made 17 receptions in his last three games and leads the team with 350 yards. The Zips' 35-point output last week matched a season-high and it was significant considering they thrived against a good Bowling Green defense.
The Akron defense ranks near the bottom in several categories. This is due to a very difficult non-conference schedule which included a 60-10 loss to Auburn and a 59-7 loss to Ohio State. The Zips stand 68th against the pass and 117th against the run. Akron is averaging 21.3 points, ranking them 111th in the FBS. They are allowing an average of 38.7 points, placing them 126th in the country.
Miami Ohio's Offense Silent in First MAC Defeat
The Miami Ohio Redhawks are seeking their second conference win of the season. They opened MAC play with a home victory over Central Michigan. The offense was silent in a narrow 13-12 road loss to Eastern Michigan last week in a clash that had Miami Ohio favored by 2.5 points. The Redhawks have only covered in two of their five games on the season.
The Redhawks usually split the QB duties between Brett Gabbert and AJ Mayer. Gabbert was out of action due to an undisclosed injury last week. Mayer got the start and only completed 41% of his pass attempts for a total of 259 yards. The sophomore QB has 717 passing yards along with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio, while Gabbert has recorded 737 passing yards.
Miami Ohio usually runs quite often and uses several different running backs. Keyon Mozee has tallied a team-leading 237 yards including a season-high 83 yards against Central Michigan two weeks ago. Jack Sorenson will play a big factor in this game. The senior WR brought in 123 yards last week, increasing his season total to 452 receiving yards. The Redhawks offense has struggled for the most part this season, however, they had a tough non-conference schedule which includes losses to Cincinnati and Minnesota.
Nicholson was 4-of-5 on field goal attempts last Saturday in a 13-12 loss at EMU. The freshman opened the day with a career-long 49-yard field goal and added kicks from 40, 31 and 44 yards. Nicholson added three touchbacks on five attempts as well.#RiseUpRedHawks | #MACtion pic.twitter.com/14QRsC1fkn— #MACtion (@MACSports) October 11, 2021
The Miami Ohio defense is a strength. They have only conceded a total of 30 points in their two MAC games on the season. The defense limited Eastern Michigan to only 257 total yards last week. They are ranked 33rd against the pass while the rush defense is 79th. The Redhawks stand 110th in the FBS with only 22 points per game. The defense is allowing an average of 23.3 points, placing them 58th overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Akron enters this one with confidence after registering a 35-20 win against Bowling Green. The Zips' defensive stats look terrible due to the quality of opponents. They have played Auburn and Ohio State this season. The offense has fared reasonably well in MAC play, scoring a total of 52 points against Ohio and Bowling Green.
Furthermore, Miami Ohio has not been very convincing. They lost to Eastern Michigan last week. The Zips might have something in freshman QB Zach Gibson. He has connected on 90% of his pass attempts in his two games played and tossed three touchdowns last week. The Redhawks are not scoring enough points to cover this large spread. They have only averaged 16.7 points in their last three games.
Full-Game Total Pick
Akron is coming off their best defensive performance of the season. I also like the fact Akron will run more than pass which will take more time off the clock. The Redhawks have scored 28 or fewer points in four of their five games on the season.
In addition, the Miami Ohio defense is their top strength and it’s no coincidence the under has cashed in each of their last four clashes. They have conceded 23 or fewer points in four consecutive games. QB AJ Mayer only converted on 41% of his passes last week while their other QB in Brett Gabbert is questionable with an injury.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Miami Ohio team total is a solid play. The Redhawks' offense has been inconsistent this season. They are only averaging 378 total yards which rank them 81st overall. Akron’s defense has momentum after limiting Bowling Green to only 107 rushing yards last week and their pass defense is decent, holding foes to 228 passing yards per game.
Half-Time Total Bet
I am going with the under on the first half total as well. Miami Ohio is one of the lowest-scoring teams in the entire FBS in the opening half. They are averaging 5.2 points, landing them 126th overall. The same goes for Akron who is only averaging 8.2 points.