Blue White Illustrated

Akron Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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By the time Penn State finished its season opener in Dublin Saturday, Akron was at home eating pizza. The Zips had beaten Howard, 41-0, two nights before at home and follow- ing Saturday morning's prac- tice – which was at the same time the Nittany Lions kicked off vs. UCF in Ireland – the team gathered around a big-screen TV in the football facility. Head coach Terry Bowden ordered a few pies and, like they were seeing a movie, they sat and watched a recording of Penn State's entertain- ing 26-24 win over Central Florida that just had reached its conclusion. How nice. Meanwhile, Penn State just had battled to a hard-fought win over the Fiesta Bowl champs from a year ago. Then the Nittany Lions had to pack their bags and load a plane to take an international flight more than seven hours and 3,000 miles home. Jet lag? James Frankllin asks, What is that? They touched down in Pittsburgh around P R E G A M E R E P O R T P E N N S T A T E V S . A K R O N N O O N , S E P T . 6 A B C / E S P N 2 AKRON FACTS COACH Terry Bowden (West Vir- ginia, '78) COACH'S RECORD 147-80-2 in his 21st season as a head coach; 7-18 in his third season at Akron 2014 RECORD 1-0, 0-0 Mid- American Conference (East) RECORD VS. PSU The Nittany Lions lead this nonconference se- ries, 4-0. MOST RECENT MEETING Penn State, ranked as a top-10 team, throttled Akron, 31-7, in the sea- son opener in 2009, scoring all 31 of its points in the first half. GOOD NEWS Akron's returning wide receivers rank among the nation's best. Four receivers who combined for 230 of last year's 238 catches – the highest percentage in the na- tion – are back for 2014. BAD NEWS Akron's win over Howard last week was the team's first season- opening victory since 2007, but it's been since 1993 – more than two decades – since the Zips started a season 2-0. DID YOU KNOW? In the 1920s, Akron held a cam- pus-wide contest in order to choose a team nickname. There were suggestions of the Tip Top- pers, Rubbernecks, Hillbillies, Kangaroos, Cheveliers and Golden Blue Devils, but they finally set- tled on the Zippers. Twenty-five years later, an athletic director shortned the nickname to Zips, and 40 years after that, they intro- duced the kangaroo mascot, which is one of only a few female mascots in college football. PLAYING CATCH-UP After a trip to Dublin, Penn State readies for its home opener T I M O W E N | O W E N . T I M . B W I @ G M A I L . C O M Steve Manuel S E P T E M B E R 3 , 2 0 1 4 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 AIRING IT OUT After he racked up 454 yards in week one, Akron will be paying close atten- tion to Hackenberg.

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