Hoosiers Trying To Even Record Against Akron In Final Non-Conference Game

Akron quarterback DJ Irons (0) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Haas Hutchins)
Akron quarterback DJ Irons (0) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Haas Hutchins)
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Akron (1-2) at Indiana (1-2), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (BTN)

Line: Indiana by 17, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Indiana leads 3-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Both teams are trying to even their records though Indiana's mission seems more imperative — if it hopes to make its first bowl game since 2020. Sweeping the non-conference schedule could have put them in position, but Saturday's loss made ended those hopes. New Hoosiers QB Tayven Jackson will try to build on last week's strong second-half performance. The Zips are seeking a program-changing win. Akron has 10 wins victories since 2018 with its last over a Power Five foe in 2015.

KEY MATCHUP

Akron's offensive line vs. Indiana pass rushers Andre Carter and Aaron Casey. Carter, a transfer from Western Michigan, and Casey, in his fifth season, have transformed the Hoosiers defensive front. They've slowed down two high-scoring offenses, No. 6 Ohio State and Louisville, and have combined for three sacks and eight tackles for loss. The Zips already have allowed 13 sacks and if that continues Saturday, this game could turn ugly early.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Akron: LB C.J. Nunnally. It hasn't taken the junior long to find a fit with the Zips. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Nunnally posted back-to-back sacks on the first two plays of his second game with Akron before forcing a fumble that led to the game-winning touchdown score agaisnt Morgan State. He added another sack last week against Kentucky.

Indiana: WR Cam Camper. The former junior college star was off to a fast start last year, his first in the program, before a torn ACL ended his season in mid-October. While he's still working his way back, he showed last week that he and Jackson have a connection. Could it be a precursor to a big game this week?

FACTS & FIGURES

Indiana has won each of the previous three meetings against Akron by double digits. ... The Zips have lost 12 of their last 14.... The Hoosiers are 39-8-1 all-time against Mid-American Conference programs. ... Akron has lost eight straight games against Power Five programs since a 39-34 victory at Northwestern on Sept. 15, 2018. ... Indiana's defense is ranked among the FBS' top 40 in four different categories including total defense (298.3 yards, 38th) and scoring defense (17.0 points, 39th). ... For the second straight week, Hoosiers coach Tom Allen will try to break a tie for sixth all-time on the school's career victory list. He's tied with the late John Pont at 31. Pont led the Hoosiers to the 1968 Rose Bowl, Indiana's first and only appearance.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hulosb/ap-top-25-college-football-poll