Miami RedHawks at Akron Zips: What you need to know about Saturday’s game

Quarterback Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami RedHawks carries the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first quarter of the game on September 15, 2018, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Quarterback Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami RedHawks carries the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first quarter of the game on September 15, 2018, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Who: Miami (1-4, 1-1 Mid-American Conference East Division) at Akron (2-1, 0-0 MAC East).

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Where: InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field (30,000), Akron.

RELATED: Pass defense a concern for RedHawks

Coaches: Miami Chuck Martin, fifth season, 17-37 at Miami, 91-44 overall; Akron Terry Bowden, seventh season, 33-45 at Akron, 173-107-3 overall.

Last time: Running back Kenny Young gained 109 yards on the ground and 89 through the air with a touchdown to lead Miami to a 24-14 win over the Zips at Yager Stadium in Oxford. The RedHawks defense piled up six sacks while limiting Akron to 273 yards of total offense.

Series notes: Miami leads the series, 17-9-1, including 6-6 at Akron. Last season's win snapped the RedHawks' four-game losing streak in the series.

Stat pack: Miami RB Alonzo Smith 52 carries, 240 yards, 546 avg., 1 TD; QB Gus Ragland 90-of-154 passing, 1,017 yards, 8 TDs, 2 int.; WR Jack Sorenson 22 catches, 360 yards, 2 TDs; S De'Andre Montgomery 44 tackles, 23 solo.

Akron RB Van Edwards 43 carries, 185 yards, 4.3 average, 2 TDs; QB Kato Nelson 45-of-82 passing, 662 yards, 6 TDs, 2 ints; WR Jonah Morris 10 catches, 182 yards, 1 TD; LB John Lako 28 tackles, 16 solo.

Local flavor: FR. LB Jake Bracher, Mason; Sr. PK/P Nick Gasser, Lakota East;

Worth noting: Despite being the defending MAC East champion, Akron was picked to finish fourth behind third-place Miami in the pre-season MAC media poll … The Zips will celebrate Homecoming on Saturday. They romped to a 35-13 win over Miami on Homecoming in 2016, the RedHawks' most recent visit to Akron. … Akron's opener at Nebraska on September 1 was cancelled after a lengthy delay caused by a huge storm. … The Zips had last Saturday off and are playing their conference opener. … They rank 11thin the nation in rushing defense and 33rdin total defense. … Among their wins is a 39-34 victory at Northwestern of the Big Ten on September 15. They returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered a Wildcats' fumble in the end zone for a third defensive score. … Gasser was the MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week after tying his career best with a 45-yard field and then setting a new best with a 49-yard boot in Akron's 26-13 loss at Iowa State on September 22.

Quotable: Bowden, at his weekly media session, on his team finally starting MAC play: "It's different. It feels different. When you go into games against Power 5 conferences, you can say what you want to, but there's less stress there, because you go in and people think you can't win. You're a little bit more relaxed."