IOWA STATE-AKRON FOOTBALL GAME HAS PLENTY OF LOCAL FLAVOR
The University of Akron football team looks to improve to 2-1 in the non- conference portion of the 2017 season when it hosts Big 12 foe Iowa State Saturday at noon. The game, which can be seen on the CBS Sports network, is the first meeting ever between the two schools on the gridiron, and the Zips will travel to Ames, Iowa next season as part of the home and home contract agreement.
Seven players on the Iowa State roster are from Ohio, and that list includes Massillon’s Kyle Kempt, a redshirt senior quarterback. Other Ohio natives on the Cyclones squad are redshirt freshman DB Jatairis Grant [Akron, Ohio | Garfield HS], sophomore WR Deshaunte Jones [Cincinnati, Ohio | Colerain HS], freshman DB Keontae Jones [Cincinnati, Ohio | Colerain HS],sophomore RB David Montgomery [Cincinnati, Ohio | Mount Healthy HS], freshman OL Jeff Nogaj [Johnstown, Ohio | Johnstown-Monroe HS], and redshirt freshman LB Zach Silbermann [Chagrin Falls, Ohio | Kenston HS].
Three fourths of the coaches on the Iowa State staff have Ohio connections. The most notable of those is head coach Matt Campbell, a Perry product who played at Mount Union and is in his second year on the Cyclones bench after three successful seasons at Toledo. The Cyclones are also 1-1 in on the year. After opening with a 42-24 victory over Northern Iowa, Iowa State suffered a heartbreaking 44-41 home loss to arch rival Iowa.
“Playing Akron is a really good challenge for this football team,” Campbell said. “Number one going on the road, number two playing in a different environment. This is an Akron team that has a four year starter (Thomas Woodson) at quarterback, and a very talented young man (Warren Ball) at tailback, an Ohio State transfer who has done some good things in their first two games. They have a very veteran defense. If you’re going to have a chance to be an elite team you’ve got to go win football games on the road, and this is an opportunity for us to do that and play a veteran team that has some really talented players. This will be a good test for us.”
Akron opened its 2017 campaign with a 52-0 at Penn State, but the Zips bounced back with a 52-3 drubbing of Arkansas Pine Bluff in their home opener.Akron is a perfect seven for seven in red zone opportunities on the young season. Ironically, Iowa State is also batting 1,000 inside the 20.
“Iowa State is a much improved football team,” Zips coach Terry Bowden said. “Matt Campbell… they’ve got that program turned around. He’s got them moving the football and doing some good things, and knowing him personally I have a lot of respect for him. They have a very prolific style of offense, and throwing the football is the number one thing you’d better stop. We need to be firing on all cylinders because they’ve shown the ability to put points on the board.”