The Akron Zips visit Rocky Top to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. After a massive Top 25 win, Tennessee will look to improve in a “get right: game before the SEC schedule begins.
Last week, Akron lost 52-0 to Michigan State. Tennessee will be another tough challenge, as the Volunteers come off a 34-27 overtime win against Pittsburgh. The Zips are one of college football’s worst teams, while No. 15 Tennessee is enjoying a great start.
Following a 2-10 finish last season, Akron Zips looks no better through two games. As the season opener suggests, the Zips are on par with FCS schools.
In Week 1, Akron faced St. Francis, an FCS team. This went down to the wire with the Zips winning in overtime, 30-23. St. Francis outgained Akron 453 yards to 384.
A week later, Michigan State put up 496 yards. The Zips’ defense has been an absolute trainwreck, especially the run defense. St. Francis averaged 4.7 yards per carry with 189 rushing yards, and the Spartans totaled 260 rushing yards on 5.4 yards per carry.
On offense, the Zips have depended on the pass. On 60 carries, the run game is averaging only two yards per. Quarterback DJ Irons played well against Michigan State, going 9/13 with 123 passing yards. However, he went out with an injury in the second quarter. If Akron stands any chance against Tennessee, Irons must play.
Virtually no team has success when dominated on the lines of scrimmage. This is exactly what’s happening to Akron. More blowout losses are imminent.
Tennessee Volunteers looks like a threat in the SEC. Quarterback Hendon Hooker has been solid, posting 523 passing yards and three touchdowns with a 148.2 passer rating over two games. His Heisman stock is rising; Hooker is +4000 to win the award. Going forward, Hooker must have more consistent accuracy, which was spotty against Pittsburgh.
HENDON HOOKER TO CEDRIC TILLMAN 🔥🔥
The 61-yard connection sets up the go-ahead @Vol_Football TD 🍊
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 10, 2022
The run game looked great in Week 1, finishing with 218 rushing yards on 4.3 yards per carry. Against Pittsburgh, it was tough sledding. Tennessee had 91 rushing yards on 2.6 yards per carry.
The Volunteers used Hooker’s legs more often, as he finished with 15 carries. In addition, the offense needs to clean up mistakes. Several penalties kept Tennessee from taking a two-possession lead over Pittsburgh.
Entering Week 3, the defense has great momentum. The pass rush practically lived in Pittsburgh’s backfield with four sacks and 16 QB hurries. Under this kind of duress, no offense will establish a good rhythm.
The Volunteers must fix issues against Akron. Once the SEC slate begins, Tennessee faces Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Kentucky within a month.
Akron vs Tennessee Injury Report
For Akron, quarterback Irons is questionable with a leg injury.
Defensive back Dee Williams and linebacker Juwan Mitchell are questionable for Tennessee. Both were expected to contribute this season, but have missed the first two games.
Akron vs Tennessee Head-to-Head
The Volunteers are 2-0 against Akron. The last meeting was in 2012; Tennessee won 47-26.
Akron vs Tennessee Game Information
- Game: Akron vs Tennessee
- Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
- Day/Time: Saturday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. ET
- Akron vs Tennessee Live Stream: ESPN
Akron vs Tennessee Betting Lines
|Akron||+47½ (-110)||67 (-110o)|
|Tennessee||-47½ (-110)||67 (-110u)|
Akron vs Tennessee Prediction
With Akron’s starting QB questionable, the Zips will be hard-pressed to score. Akron has struggled in the trenches, while Tennessee’s defensive front just dominated a game. The Volunteers’ pass rush should put up gaudy numbers once again. Plus, Hooker will fare well against the Zips’ bad defense. Tennessee will cover as it gears up the SEC slate.