It is a busy week in Akron, Ohio as the Zips prepare for the talented Tennessee Volunteers.
Head coach Terry Bowden is aware that he has a tough task ahead of him, but believes winning is an option.
"We have no illusions, we believe we can win this football game," Bowden stated in a Tuesday press conference. "We will go in with all our plans to play our very best football game and see how we can do."
Akron has only played Tennessee in one previous meeting. In 1989 the Zips got spanked by the Volunteers, 52-9. This year the Zips hope not to repeat that beating.
The Zips are riding high after last week's 66-6 win over Morgan State. The Akron offense has put up some tremendous stats in their first three weeks of playing this season. They are fifth in the country in passing yards per game with 378 and 25th in scoring, averaging 39.3 points per game.
Leading the way is senior quarterback Dalton Williams, who has been a bright light for the Zips this season. He has completed 94 of his 152 pass attempts and has already passed for 1,004 yards in his first three games. After throwing for 446 yards last Saturday, Williams is eager to sling the pigskin again in Knoxville.
Williams' great performance against Morgan State earned him recognition as one of the 12 players to be selected as a Weekley Davey O'Brien Award honorable mention.
Along with the quarterback, senior wide receiver Marquelo Suel hopes to continue his success. Suel accounts for a little more than a quarter of Williams' passing yards, with 260 on 20 receptions.
Although the Zips are a predominately pass first team, they still need a solid running game to balance out the offense. Averaging 118 yards per game, their running game is ranked 97th in the country. Their rushing attack is lead by sophomore running back Jawon Chisholm. Chisholm accounts for 189 of the Zips rushing yards this season and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Defense is a major downfall of the Zips. In the past three games they have given up 103 points and in each of those games they were not playing against the offensive fire power of an SEC opponent. The defense has been preparing all week to improve in hopes to slow down the Tennessee offense.
This will be a tough match-up for the Zips.
"They are a much more talented team," Bowden said. "They have more athletic ability than we do, and size than we do and they have more speed than we do."
The team is eager to play in Knoxville, and hopes to gain exposure for the Akron athletic program.
Commenting on the game, Bowden realizes that the odds are against them and a lot of things will have to go their way for them to be successful.
"They got Georgia next week, maybe they will be thinking about Georgia," Bowden said hopefully.