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2013 Opponent Review: Akron, The Jager Hunding Revisited

"This is embarrassing for the University of Michigan football team."--Taylor Lewan

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

If you don't recall, regular MnB commenter, Jager Hund, went onto the open thread over at OTE and posted something along the lines of "Let's go, Akron!" He was justly given a ton of shit when we at MnB found out about it. With the way Michigan performed during this game, it was clear that Jager Hund's "sense of humor" had put a hex on the Wolverines and their ability to put the Zips away. This phenomenon of mockingly rooting for the opponent and then seeing our team fail on the field will forever be known as Jager Hunding.

How They Did

Date Opponent Result
8/29 at Central Florida L 38-7
9/7 James Madison W 35-33
9/14 at Michigan L 28-24
9/21 Louisiana-Lafayette L 35-30
9/28 at Bowling Green L 31-14
10/5 Ohio L 43-3
10/12 at Northern Illinois L 27-20
10/19 at Miami (OH) W 24-17
10/26 Ball State L 42-24
11/2 Kent State W 16-7
11/16 at UMass W 14-13
11/29 Toledo W 31-29

Alright, so 5-7 is not exactly going to blow anyone's socks off, but when you consider that they won only three games from 2010 to 2012 (and hadn't won five games in a season since 2008), I guess you can consider Akron's socks blown off. They were able to stay within seven points of Northern Illinois on the road, which is no small feat, even if many of the issues were with NIU not performing rather than Akron being dominating. Whatever it takes, right? Yet earlier in the season the Zips beat FCS James Madison by only two in a game that saw JMU gain 498 yards to Akron's 356.

Versus Michigan: Zach, please don't make me do this! Is this supposed to be some sort of therapy? I mean, the memory was withering away, starved and dehydrated, ready to die in that pit with all of my other repressed memories. And then you had an idea to review how Michigan's opponents did. Now that memory has been given just enough food and water to revive a little bit; it is going through a last gasp, yelling from that pit, trying to get out.

Anyway, Akron QB Kyle Pohl was successful against the Wolverines, going 25-of-49 for 311 yards two TDS, and two INTs. 125 of Pohl's 311 yards went to receiver L.T. Smith, who caught five balls for 125 yards; that means he torched the Michigan D for 25 yards per catch. The Zips weren't able to do a whole lot on the ground, though, gaining 107 yards between Jawon Chisholm and Conor Hundley. In the end, it took a 4th-and-3 stand by the Michigan defense to walk away with the victory. "Highlights":

When Michigan had the ball: Devin Gardner threw three interceptions, including one pick-six. "We're 3-0, that's great. It was embarrassing."--Taylor Lewan

Best Win: Toledo Rockets. Toledo finished the season at 7-5, which is by far the best record of any of the teams beaten by the Zips; their other four wins were against teams with a combined win total of ten. Kyle Pohl was efficient in this game: 18/29, 259 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTS.

Worst Loss: The combined win total of the teams who beat Akron is 67; that's an average of 9.5 wins per team. I suppose it can be argued that Akron doesn't have any bad losses simply by looking at who they played. If I were to choose one, though, it would have to be the Ohio Bobcats. The Zips were able to muster only 157 total yards on the day, and an astonishing 12 penalties for 135 yards in the 43-3 blowout.

Outlook for 2014

Head coach Terry Bowden is a very good head coach (who probably won't be long at Akron if he can have any modicum of success) and he has a relatively young team to mold; he's already shown what he can do by taking the Zips to five wins for the first time since '08. Quarterback Kyle Pohl will return and should get the starting nod over Nick Hirschman. Pohl had 2,438 passing yards in 2013 and he should have his top two receivers, Zach D'Orazio (567 yards, 4 TDs) and L.T. Smith (428 yards, 3 TDs), along with running back Jawon Chisholm (869 yards, 8 TDs) coming back in 2014. I've seen only four games released on the 2014 schedule, and two of them are going to be difficult (9/6 at Penn State and 9/27 at Pitt), but you have to admire the willingness to play anyone. Their September games also feature Howard and Marshall.

Do they play Michigan in 2014?

No. Instead of playing an improving Akron squad, the Wolverines will face the Miami Redhawks on September 13th in Ann Arbor. Miami was winless in 2013.