Bowden gets first Akron win in rout of Morgan State

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


AKRON, Ohio -- For a team starved to win a football game, Akron found the right opponent in Morgan State.
The Zips pounded the Bears 66-6 on Saturday afternoon in front of 9,933 fans at InfoCision Stadium and gave Terry Bowden his first victory as Akron's head coach.
Akron athletic director Tom Wistrcill presented Bowden with the game ball.
Bowden was hired last December to revive a program reeling from back-to-back 1-11 seasons.
The win snapped a 10-game losing streak. The Zips had lost 41-38 in overtime one week earlier at Florida International.
"A team like this needs things like that," said Bowden. "I think this will be a game we can propel ourselves from."
Akron's fifth-year senior quarterback, Dalton Williams, a Stephen F. Austin transfer, completed a school-record 37 passes (48 attempts) for 446 yards and three touchdowns and spread the ball to 11 receivers. A member of Bowden's first recruiting class, Williams, out of Coppell, Texas, already has passed for more yards through three games (1,004) than last year's team through five (905).
"They worked harder this week than they probably would have if they had won that (Florida International) game," Bowden said. "Everybody had good numbers tonight. It's just one game."
The only negative came when Williams painfully walked off the field in the third quarter after being sandwiched by two Morgan State defenders. His status for Akron's next game at Tennessee is not immediately known.
The Zips (1-2) took the first possession of the game and marched 75 yards in 14 plays for a 7-0 lead on Williams' 17-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Goodman.
Chris Flowers returned the ensuing kickoff for Morgan State (1-2) 46 yards and the Bears pulled to within 7-3 on a 40-yard field goal by Ervin Gonzalez.
Akron's no-huddle offense answered with a 75-yard, 12-play drive to take a 14-3 lead at 3:14 of the first quarter on Conor Hundley's one-yard scoring plunge.
"It was a very fast tempo," Morgan State freshman defensive back DeShaun Summers said. "I still was adjusting to it throughout the game. They looked much better in person than they did on tape."
The Zips had a chance to blow it open early in the second quarter when Jawon Chisholm, running clear of any defenders, inexplicably stepped out of bounds at the Morgan State 20, negating an apparent 46-yard touchdown run. Akron lost a fumble two plays later.
Despite the miscue, Akron took a 21-6 lead into halftime after Williams connected on his second touchdown pass, a 12-yard strike to Rhyne Ladrich in the back of the end zone.
Gonzalez added a second field goal of 43 yards for Morgan State in the second quarter.
Robert Stein punched through a 24-yard field goal for Akron in the third quarter before Williams hooked up with Andrew Pratt on a 42-yard touchdown pass at 7:06 of the period to make it 31-6.
Hundley's second touchdown -- an 11-yard burst late in third quarter -- ran the score to 38-6.
"We worked very hard watching what Buffalo did to Morgan State a week ago when they won 56-34," Bowden said. "They couldn't get Morgan State off the field very much. All we know is that we're a MAC school and they're a MAC school. Can we play this team as well as another MAC school? Obviously, we did."
Akron's reserve quarterback, Kyle Pohl, threw three touchdown passes as the Zips exploded for school marks in total offense (753) and first downs (43).
"They did a good job of out-flanking us," Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley said.
Akron linebacker Nick Rossi scooped up a Morgan State fumble and scored a 22-yard touchdown with 2:03 left in the game to complete the scoring.
"It just seemed like we came out flat (in the second half)," Hill-Eley said. "I felt that if we could have got that first drive coming out we could have got a little bit more life, a little bit more momentum. We ended up sputtering that drive. They came back with a score and then after that the wheels fell off."
Chisholm, a Harrisburg, Pa., sophomore, posted his fifth career 100-yard rushing game and ended with 129 yards on 18 carries.
Morgan State senior Travis Davidson, out of Redford, Mich., rushed for 77 yards on 19 tries.
DeShaun Summers, a Hampton, Va., freshman, had 11 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and a pass breakup for the Bears.
Notes: Akron's 66 points were the most in school history ... The Zips' 753 yards of total offense were the third-highest tally registered by a Mid-American Conference school ... The Zips set a MAC single-game passing record with 565 yards, coming on 44 completions ... Terry Bowden, son of legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, landed in Akron after three seasons as head coach at North Alabama. UNA was 29-9 from 2009-2011 ... The Zips blanked Morgan State 41-0 to open InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron campus in 2009.

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