Welcome to the final edition of Winless Watch, where just one team is left looking for that first win of the season.
Akron (0-11). Streak: L 11. The Zips have come oh-so-close to winning the last two weeks, but have fallen just short against Ball State and Miami (Ohio). Now they get a winnable game to close out the season -- at home against Buffalo (2-9) on Friday. The Bulls are having their own set of struggles -- they have lost six straight. Their only win was over an FBS team -- 28-26 to Bowling Green, which missed a 40-yard field goal for the win as time expired.
The Bulls have had a tough time under first-year coach Jeff Quinn as well. Jerry Davis started the season at quarterback but wasn’t what Quinn was looking for to run the spread. Freshman Alex Zordich replaced him, but he is out with a rib injury, so Davis is back in. He has 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season. The Bulls haven’t been helped by their lackluster run game, either. They have an NCAA-worst three rushing touchdowns this season.
These are two of the worst offenses in the MAC and the country. They rank in the bottom in the league in scoring, and total offense. But the Zips have shown some signs of life. They have lost their last two games by a combined 12 points, including the overtime loss to the Cardinals. Last week against Miami, they fumbled late in the game as they were driving for the winning score.
Winning teams somehow find a way to win. That is what Rob Ianello is waiting to see out of his players.
“We have to make those plays we haven’t made,” Ianello said. “We’ve lost two games in overtime and one game on the last possession and all those games you can look at a few key plays that we haven’t made and the opponent has.
“Last week, we turned it over twice. They didn’t turn it over at all. As I told our team, we’ll win when we get good enough to win. How do you get good enough? You make those plays you have to make in a close game. When you get the taste of victory then you understand what it takes, next time you get in a situation you make them again.”
My pick: Akron 21, Buffalo 17.