Tuesday Night MAC College Football: Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls

Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls
UB Stadium – Buffalo, New York

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Akron -3
Current Line: Akron -4
Opening Total: 51 1/2
Current Total: 50
Opening Money Line: Akron -175 / Buffalo +150
Current Money Line: Akron -180 / Buffalo +160 

Akron is a road favorite at Buffalo Tuesday night in MAC action.
Akron is a road favorite at Buffalo Tuesday night in MAC action.

The 4-5 Akron Zips and 3-6 Buffalo Bulls meet Tuesday in MAC action. Akron is 2-3 in conference and Buffalo is 1-4. Both teams have an outside shot of becoming bowl eligible but there is no guarantee that even a 7-5 MAC team would be selected.

Akron leads the series 9-4  against Buffalo. However, Buffalo’s four wins in the series have all come in the last 5 games between the teams. Buffalo won the last meeting 51-10 at home in 2011.

Akron is coached by Terry Bowden. The Zips have road losses at Penn State 21-3, Ohio 23-20 and Ball State 35-21, along with  home losses to Marshall 48-17 and last Tuesday against Bowling Green 27-10. Akron has home wins over Howard 41-0, Eastern Michigan 31-6 and Miami-(OH) 29-19, along with a road win at Pittsburgh 21-10. Akron has lost three straight games after starting off the season 4-2. The Zips are 2-7 ATS and the total is also 2-7 this season. Akron was a 3.5 point favorite against Bowling Green and the total was 60.

Buffalo fired coach Jeff Quinn earlier in the season. Alex Wood took over as the interim coach. Buffalo has lost 4 straight games after a 3-2 start. The Bulls have road losses at Army 47-39, Bowling Green 36-35, Eastern Michigan 37-27 and last Wednesday at Ohio 37-14. Buffalo has home losses to Baylor 63-21 and Central Michigan 20-14. The Bulls have home wins over Duquesne 38-28, Norfolk State 36-7 and Miami-(OH) 35-27.

Akron is outscoring teams 21.4-21 this season. The Zips are #20 in points allowed and #106 in scoring. Akron is averaging 384 yards per game including 262 passing and 122 rushing yards. The Zips are #42 in passing but #108 in rushing. On defense, Akron is allowing 364 yards per game including 220 passing and 144 rushing yards. Akron is #41 in total defense and #44 in rush defense. The Zips are +3 in turnovers with 15 takeaways. Akron averages 75 penalty yards per game and opponents average 42. The Zips are 47/150 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 27/85. Akron has 24 sacks and opponents have 15. The Zips are 22/34 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns and opponents are 14/19 with 11 touchdowns.

Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl returned last week against Bowling Green after missing the previous 2 games with a concussion. Tommy Woodson started those  two games and has taken snaps in almost every game. Woodson did not play against Bowling Green.  Pohl has completed 55.1% of his passes for 1,593 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions along with a rushing touchdown. Woodson has completed 52.6% of his passes for 773 yards with 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 32 carries for 131 yards.

Running back Conor Hundley has 81 carries for 455 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 8 catches and a touchdown.  Jawon Chisolm has 64 carries for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns along with 6 catches. Cody Grice has only 13 carries but 3 touchdowns. Zach D’Orazio has 45 catches for 486 yards and a touchdown. L.T. Smith has 39 catches for 421 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mykel Traylor-Bennett has 17 catches for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Buffalo is being outscored 34-29 this season. The Bulls are averaging 415 yards per game on offense including 264 passing and 151 rushing yards. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 424 yards per game including 235 passing and 189 rushing  yards per game. The Bulls have 16 turnovers and have forced 13 this season. Buffalo is averaging 51 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55. The Bulls are 58/157 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 58/140. Buffalo has forced 19 sacks and allowed 15 this season. The Bulls are 30/42 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns, and opponents are 33/39 with 26 touchdowns. Buffalo has one defensive touchdown this season.

Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata has completed 63.3% of his passes for 2,199 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Running back Anthone Taylor has 214 carries for 988 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 73 yards. Jordan Johnson and Devin Campbell will also get a few carries. Campbell is also an important part of the passing game with 21 catches for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Ron Willoughby has 39 catches for 586 yards and 7 touchdowns. Devon Hughes has 36 catches for 428 yards and 5 touchdowns. Marcus McGill has 22 catches for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jacob Martinez and Matt Weiser will also get a lot of targets. Weiser has 3 touchdown catches.

Akron is 5-1 ATS after a double digit home loss, 17-36-1 in MAC games, 2-5 against teams with losing records, 1-4 in road games, 0-4 after failing to cover, 0-5 against teams with losing records and overall, and 0-6 on fieldturf. The under is 5-2 in this series recently.

Buffalo is 5-0-1 ATS against teams with losing road records, 8-2 against teams with losing records, 6-2 after passing for 170 yards or less, 3-7 on fieldturf, 3-8 overall, 5-14-2 in November, 2-7 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 1-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 1-5 after a straight up loss and after failing to cover, 0-4 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards and after rushing for less than 100 yards. Buffalo is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games against Akron and the Bulls were the underdog in each of those contests.

Akron closes the season with games against Buffalo, Massachusetts and Kent State. Those three teams have combined for 6 wins this season. Akron has a shot of winning 3 straight games to get to 7-5. Before that can happen they have to take care of business on the road against Buffalo. I think the Zips win but Buffalo keeps it close.

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