After two brutal losses in a row, the Akron Zips will travel to Liberty Mountain to take on the Liberty Flames for their third away game of the season. The Akron Zips will face off against Liberty in a packed-out Williams Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6PM. Viewers can tune in on ESPN+.
Saturday’s game will be the second time in school history that Liberty and Akron have played each other. The last time the two teams met was in 2002 and ended as an Akron victory with a final score of 49-21.
The Zips are currently 1-2 thus far in the season. The Zips pulled out an overtime win against Saint Francis (PA) in their season opener but have since gone on to suffer two tough losses against Michigan State (52-0) and then #11 Tennessee (63-6).
The Zips’ have struggled to find their footing in recent years and have had three total wins between the last three seasons. Akron finished last season with a 2-10 record.
This is head coach Joe Moorhead’s first season as head coach with the Zips. Moorhead’s most recent coaching position was as Oregon’s offensive coordinator and before that he was Mississippi State’ head coach. While this is not Moorhead’s first run with Akron, it is his premier season as their head coach. Moorhead coached many different positions at Akron from 2004 to 2008 before leaving to be Connecticut’s quarterback coach.
Moorhead began his coaching career in 1998 at Pittsburgh but has since coached for seven other teams. Under Moorhead’s offensive coaching in 2016, Penn State averaged 432.6 yards of offense per game, and in 2021 he coached Oregon into beating Ohio State.
The two quarterbacks for the Zips have been sacked for a combined fifteen times between their first three games this season. In contrast, Akron has picked off three throws this season, including two against Michigan State.
Akron is a part of the Mid-American Conference and, after their game at Liberty, will play against conference opponents for the rest of the season as this is their final non-conference matchup.
Three Players to Watch For
LB #27 – Bubba Arslanian is a natural athlete and will likely play a big role in trying to keep Liberty QB Kaidon Salter in the pocket. Arslanian was injured early last season and as a result didn’t see much playing time. In the four games he played last season, Arslanian had 43 tackles. This year he already has 19 solo tackles and 27 total tackles.
QB #0 – DJ Irons has thrown for 650 yards, 2 touchdowns, and zero interceptions this season. Irons is not afraid to run the ball and will undoubtedly be the leader of the offense this Saturday.
CB #29 – Jalen Hooks has 10 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass defended so far this season.
Sept. 24 – Akron @ Liberty
Oct. 1 – Akron vs Bowling Green
Oct. 8 – Akron @ Ohio