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Football week seven preview: Miami looks to top Akron in Homecoming game

Redshirt sophomore quarterback AJ Mayer looks to throw to sixth-year senior wide receiver Jack Sorenson in Miami's 28-17 over Central Michigan.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback AJ Mayer looks to throw to sixth-year senior wide receiver Jack Sorenson in Miami's 28-17 over Central Michigan.

This weekend, the Miami University RedHawks football team looks to bounce back with a win over the University of Akron. The game takes place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Yager Stadium.

The RedHawks lost last week against Eastern Michigan. Sophomore quarterback A.J. Mayer had an up-and-down performance, completing just 16 of his 39 attempts for 259 yards. Senior wide receiver Jack Sorenson caught seven passes for 123 yards. 

Unfortunately, neither player found the end zone. RedHawks kicker Graham Nicholson kicked four field goals for 12 total points. 

Miami lost 13-12 to fall to 2-4 on the season and 1-1 in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. 

The RedHawks last faced Akron in the shortened 2020 season. In that game, Miami dominated. 

Quarterback Brett Gabbert completed 18 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. The RedHawks defense allowed just 145 total yards to top the Zips 38-7. 

At Monday’s press conference, Head Coach Chuck Martin was optimistic about Gabbert’s and running back Jaylon’s Bester’s chances of playing this Saturday after the pair sat out last week’s game due to injuries.

“If they’re not ready by this Saturday, they’ll both be close to being ready by this Saturday,” Martin said.

Akron looks to avenge its 2020 embarrassment. The Zips started this season by being crushed by Auburn and Ohio State. But last week, they produced a convincing win over Bowling Green. 

Akron’s defense caused four turnovers in the victory. First-year cornerback Tyson Durant impressed with an interception as well as a forced fumble and recovery. 

First-year quarterback Zach Gibson entered the game at the half and led his team on four consecutive touchdown drives. He threw for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Bowling Green was unable to find an answer, and Akron had themselves a 35-20 win. 

In order for Miami to have a repeat performance against Akron, Mayer will need to keep the ball in RedHawk hands by avoiding turnovers. Finding the end zone will be key to victory, after the team failed to do so last week. 

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The defense needs to find a way to slow down Gibson and the Zips’ offense. Miami has not allowed more than 28 points since week two, but the Akron offense poses a challenge. 

The Game

Akron @ Miami

Kickoff: Saturday, 10/16, 3:30 p.m. at Yager Stadium


Radio: Miami Sports Network

Players to Watch

Miami RedHawks

A.J. Mayer (QB, So.) last week’s stats: 16/39, 259 yards, 0 TD

Jack Sorenson (WR, Sr.)  7 receptions, 123 yards

Ivan Pace Jr. (LB, So.) 3 solo tackles, 9 assists, 1 interception

Jacquez Warren (DB, Fr.) 8 solo tackles, 2 assists 

Akron Zips

Zach Gibson (QB, Fr.) 14/15, 177 yards, 3 TD

Konata Mumpfield (WR, Fr.) 6 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TD

Tyson Durant (CB, Fr.) 4 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception

Andrew Behm (LB, Fr.) 5 solo tackles, 5 assists