Ex-Ohio State running back leads Akron to blowout win

The Akron Zips were looking to make a statement after being embarrassed by Penn State in the first week of this college football season. Seeking revenge is exactly what they did by beating the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 52-3. Ohio State transfer Warren Ball did balled out Saturday night in front of the home faithful. He scored his first touchdown in a Zips uniform just over four minutes into the game. This may have been his most impressive touchdowns of the three he scored, he appeared to be wrapped up maybe gaining a yard or two before he broke out of the pile for a touchdown. He added two more touchdowns one in the second quarter one in the third before being pulled for junior Van Edwards. This was the first time since 2015 an Akron player had a three touchdown performance.

Balls impressive running and explosive running style really proved to be the game-changer for Akron. Once Ball got going junior quarterback Thomas Woodson settled in and started making all of his throws. He completed 15 of his 21 attempts for 166 yards and a touchdown while adding 16 yards on the ground on two carries. Going into this game I didn’t know what to expect from Woodson. He had a lackluster first week and really wasn’t big on him starting but he proved tonight he belonged to be under center.

The Zips defense was stout all night, only allowing 168 yards of total offense. Ulysees Gilbert intercepted a ball early in the second quarter and returned it for a touchdown, the first of his career. The junior linebacker who’s a big contributor to that defense and a leader in the locker room was voted first team All-MAC last season and Akron’s defensive MVP.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff never really got anything going for them all night. They had a few drives that looked promising but ended up stalling out or they would take a bad penalty and put them in an unfavorable position. Starting quarterback Brandon Duncan may have been the brightest spot for this UAPB team. He completed 12 passes for 105 yards and ran for 17 yards on 11 carries. He never really had a chance to do much due to the running game which never seemed to get out of first gear. You’re not going to win many games if four different players combine for only  41 yards rushing. But give credit where it is due to the Zips defense.

Akron will host the Iowa State Cyclones next week in a 12 o’clock game, while Arkansas-Pine Bluff heads back to their home state to take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

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