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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Hoosiers ready for 1st road test against Akron on Saturday

IU Football vs. Akron

With his first career start now under his belt, IU freshman defensive tackle Larry Black said he is ready for another challenge.

He will get one at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, when IU faces the Akron Zips at the brand-new InfoCision Stadium.

“I can’t wait,” Black said of his debut away game. “This is the first time we get to go on the road and prove ourselves. Being a five-point underdog, we are going in ready to play.”

And against Akron (1-1), the Hoosiers (2-0) must come with all they have. Despite losing 31-7 to Penn State in the opening week, the Zips recently dominated Morgan State 41-0.

The Akron defense may be an issue for the Hoosiers. Unlike most other college teams, which use a 4-3 scheme, the Zips run a 3-4 set with three defensive lineman and four linebackers.

IU junior quarterback Ben Chappell said though Akron’s defensive system is different, the Hoosiers will be fully ready to attack it this weekend. 

“It changes some protection calls,” Chappell said. “Obviously, there are more guys standing up, so they can bring guys at different angles. But it’s something that we have prepared for this week and will be prepared for on Saturday.”

The top defensive player for the Zips is freshman linebacker Brian Wagner, who leads Akron with 18 tackles on the season.

He was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Defensive Player of the Week after collecting nine tackles, recording one sack, forcing two fumbles and returning an interception for a touchdown against Morgan State. 

IU wide receivers coach Billy Lynch said Akron’s defensive style is unique compared to what they have faced this year.

“They have speed on the perimeter and are big up front,” Billy Lynch said. “The defense that they play fits them very well, because they can hunker inside with those three big guys and let the other eight guys run around to the football. They are going to be a very good challenge.”

Akron’s leader on offense is 6-foot-2-inch senior quarterback Chris Jacquemain.
He currently ranks fourth on the Zips’ all-time list for passing yards, completions, touchdowns and pass attempts. In two games, Jacquemain has completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 320 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

Consistency has been the telling stat for Jacquemain this season.

Against both Penn State and Morgan State, he threw 22 passes and completed 13. In addition, the total yardage in each game was separated by only four yards – 158 and 162, respectfully.

IU senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew said from a defensive standpoint, getting to the quarterback early will be the key to beating the Zips. 

“He’s pretty mobile, but wanting to pass more than run,” Kirlew said of Jacquemain. “He has a good arm and they have some good receivers, so the defensive line has to do a great job getting pressure. We have to be on top of our game and really be explosive.”

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