Across the Field: Akron

By Elika on August 31, 2011 at 4:00p
54 Comments
What encouraging coaches we have!New decade. New coach. Same opponent. Results, TBD.

11W Heavy Industries grows yet again. Please welcome Elika Sadeghi, to our ranks. During football season, Elika will be interrogating an opposing blogger, Twitterstar or beat writer and kicks things off today.

Happy hump day Buckeye Nation! I'm sure you are just as excited as I am that we finally only need one hand to count the days til kickoff (THREE DAYS!!!). As big of a relief as it is that my voice has had adequate recovery time (and is ready to go for another season), my celebratory beignets at Cafe du Monde and hurricanes on Bourbon Street seem much too long ago. I'm so giddy I'm almost positive I'm singing "We Don't Give a Damn..." in my sleep.

This time around, not only do Buckeye fans get to kickoff a new season, but an entirely new era of Buckeye Football as well. It's hard to believe that nearly ten years have passed since Coach Tressel and the Buckeyes were taking the field, oddly enough against Akron, for his debut at Ohio State. When I think back to all the great memories we've experienced since that day, it makes me even more impatient for Saturday and the Luke Fickell era to arrive so we can see what each has in store for us.

In addition to my annual enthusiasm each fall, it is my pleasure to bring to you "Across the Field" every Wednesday this season, where I'll give you an inside look at each week's opponent through the eyes of one of their own writers. As the season progresses, feel free to let me know what kinds of questions you would like me to grill our "Across the Field" guests on.

This week I had the opportunity to interview MAC blogger extraordinaire Matt Sussman, of Hustle Belt, and get his take on this Saturday's Akron game and the Zips' 2011 season. So without further ado, here's a little something to help you get to know the 2011 Akron Zips a little better.

COACH IANELLO IS GOING INTO HIS SECOND SEASON AT AKRON AFTER A ROUGH 1-11 DEBUT. WHAT KIND OF CHANGES DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE WITH ANOTHER YEAR UNDER HIS BELT AND NEW STARTERS OUT ON THE FIELD?

Matt Sussman: Considerably less frowning. Ianello has the reputation of being this wizard recruiter so we're going to see, hopefully, some positive signs from people who aren't inherited fifth-year seniors. And, with a little luck, more than one win.

CLAYTON MOORE, A SOPHOMORE JUCO TRANSFER FROM MISSISSIPPI, WAS NAMED THE ZIPS' STARTING QB THIS WEEK. HOW OPTIMISTIC SHOULD AKRON FANS BE THAT HE WILL BE A MUCH NEEDED IMPROVEMENT OVER PATRICK NICELY FROM LAST YEAR?

MS: It's a name quarterback, as famous as a three-star former-SEC commit can be. If nothing else it's a sign that Ianello is going to find talent wherever he can that falls through the cracks, even in the heart of Mississippi and drag it back to Ohio. I'm going to miss Pat Nicely as a starter, mostly because anybody whose name is also a command always has a special place in my heart. But QB wasn't totally the problem last year; if Moore can't cut it, Nicely will do just fine.

MOORE HAD MENTIONED EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT HE HAD BEEN STRUGGLING WITH THE ADJUSTMENT TO AKRON'S PRO STYLE OFFENSE, HAVING PLAYED THE SPREAD IN HIGH SCHOOL AND JUNIOR COLLEGE. ARE THERE ANY INDICATIONS FROM CAMP HOW MUCH OF AN OBSTACLE, IF ANY, THIS CONTINUES TO BE FOR CLAYTON?

MS: The other day I watched a video of Moore in junior college throwing the ball, and unfortunately it was just a bunch of deep passes. So, cool. He can throw the deep ball. If the line gives him enough time to find someone open then I don't think the transition will be too painful. If he's insistent on going shotgun every down then there'll be a problem.

Will Akron coach Rob Ianello still be smiling in November?Ianello looks to turn things around from a 1-11 debut season.

HAVING ONLY BEATEN BUFFALO IN 2010 AND FINISHING IN THE BOTTOM 20 IN THE COUNTRY IN MANY STATISTICAL CATEGORIES, THERE SEEMS TO BE ONLY ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT FOR AKRON THIS YEAR, HOW DO YOU SEE THIS SEASON PLAYING OUT FOR THEM?

MS: All signs point to another frustrating season. They have six winnable games on their schedule, so best case they get to .500 and try to campaign for a 13th game. That's the best case. They're probably not hitting the 1-11 mark either but if this team won three or four games, Zips fans would be happy with that as they shuffle off to the next soccer match.

OHIO STATE IS 6-1 VERSUS AKRON ALL TIME, HAVING ONLY LOST TO THEM IN 1894. WHAT IS AKRON'S BIGGEST WEAKNESS THAT SHOULD HAVE OSU FANS REST ASSURED THAT THEY'LL COME OUT ON TOP AGAIN THIS YEAR?

MS: The fact that the football game is not 10 minutes long. These games are usually not won by the team's four/five best players, it's the depth of 60 players over a 60-minute span. Akron won't be able to keep up with that. You might even see the Zips maintain a tie or even a lead in the first quarter. It would be fleeting.

IN FAIRNESS, THE MAJORITY OF THOSE VICTORIES CAME IN THE 19TH CENTURY AS WELL. WHAT'S AKRON'S BIGGEST STRENGTH THAT SHOULD HAVE OSU FANS ON UPSET ALERT THIS SATURDAY?

MS: Oh, whatever I choose here will just be laughed off the Internet. They don't get penalized too often and their middle linebacker Brian Wagner makes a lot of tackles. There's no great strength to this team. If OSU loses it will be because of something they did wrong. Faulty alarm clocks, for example.

CAN YOU GIVE BUCKEYE FANS ONE AKRON PLAYER ON OFFENSE AND ONE ON DEFENSE TO WATCH FOR THIS SATURDAY AND THE NEXT THREE MONTHS?

MS: I'm looking forward to redshirt freshman running back Jawon Chisholm. He was the star of the spring game and might be that young player we can all look at and say, "hey, this team might not suck in a couple years." And defensively I want to see how nose tackle Oren Wilson plays after being exiled from Michigan State (rightly so) for being in the middle of that residence hall fight two years ago.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AKRON FOOTBALL MEMORY OF ALL TIME?

MS: Best Akron moment has to be their last-second kickoff return against Western Michigan in 2007. Up seven and with 15 seconds left, WMU intentionally took a safety to bloodlet their lead down to five. Then this happened:

GREAT CHOICE, AS BUCKEYES LOVE SEEING ANY OHIO TEAM DEFEAT THAT STATE UP NORTH! SO MATT, CAN WE GET A SCORE PREDICTION FOR THE GAME THIS SATURDAY?

MS: 37-14.

There you have it! Special thanks to Matt Sussman for participating and being a good sport. If you'd like to read more from Matt you can find him on Twitter at @suss2hyphens and on Hustle Belt.

54 Comments

Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

Excellent feature! I love this column idea. Thank you 11W and welcome Elika!

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Elika's picture

Thanks! I figured Sarah might need backup in this 11W sausage fest... looking forward to it!

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

BucksfanXC's picture

Yes, she needs someone with whom to split the creepy, "Can I see a picture of you?? With or without pants, herrrherrrherrr" comments.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Sarah's picture

Now that there are two females here, I expect the comments to get muuuuch creepier.

BucksfanXC's picture

Haha, it's gonna be hard to top that one from today. Not that I'm issuing a challenge.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Denny's picture

You shouldn't challenge us, Sarah.

Taquitos.

Nappy's picture

Good job and welcome to 11W, but you didn't have to scream the questions at the guy.  He probably wouldv'e answered them anyways. 

Fan of bacon since 1981

Elika's picture

Well aren't you witty? :) duly noted

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Nappy's picture

Im just being a smartass.  It doesnt bother me at all.

Fan of bacon since 1981

BucksfanXC's picture

I liked how it was differentiated. Maybe italics and bold, without caps? Will that make everyone happy? EVERYONE HAS TO BE HAPPY!

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Elika's picture

Everyone will be happy in November when it's a Michigan writer I appear to be yelling at!

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

blazers34's picture

good lord this site is getting huge.  welcome elika.  after seeing your twitter handle, i realize that ive seen a ton of retweets that orginated from you.

BucksfanXC's picture

I now take this oppurtunity to brag about how I've been a fan since before they were huge:

"Yeah, I've been a fan of 11W since back in the day, before they got big. It's no big deal."

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Chris Lauderback's picture

Ha! Nice man. We definitely appreciate the long term homies. I remember when it was just me and Jason commenting on each other's posts with maybe like 2 or 3 other readers that we knew personally. "TLB" can also claim to be a relic commenter around here.

BucksfanXC's picture

I don't remember when I started reading over here, but I remember I migrated over from Buckeye Commentary, a little while before Keith left. I remember when they interviewed you guys for the local news piece and my screen name made the B-roll clips. Totally my claim to fame around here.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Chris Lauderback's picture

Lol! Yeah, I remember the TV piece on Fox vividly. I was scared shitless trying to sound intelligent. I'm pretty sure Maria Durant wanted to make out. Not. 

flipbuckeye's picture

Haha, same here. I felt like such a boss baus because my screen name was shown in the recent comments.

Loving this new feature.

Creepy google bros are creepy.

Note to self: do not wear skinny jeans to E2B.

Jason Priestas's picture

DO NOT ANGER THE GHOST OF BUP BUP BUP

Chris Lauderback's picture

Ha! I referenced dudes we knew "personally". I didn't know you yet. That said, it's a given you earned legendary commenter status well before legendary writer status. 

GoBucks713's picture

Hipsters ruin everything.

-The Aristocrats!

Chris Lauderback's picture

I love everyone here...as long as they aren't dudes in skinny jeans.

Nappy's picture

+1

Fan of bacon since 1981

BucksfanXC's picture

Skinny jeans may be the only thing less comfortable the wool suit I'm wearing in the 90 degree heat. Maybe.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Elika's picture

Thanks for the welcome! Hope you enjoyed the tweets :)

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Enzo's picture

"CAN YOU GIVE BUCKEYE FANS ONE AKRON PLAYER ON OFFENSE AND ONE ON DEFENSE TO WATCH FOR THIS SATURDAY AND THE NEXT THREE MONTHS?"

Something tells me Buckeye fans will barely focus on an Akron player after the 1st quarter let alone the next 3 months.

 

Look forward to reading more than 140 characters.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

Welcome, Elika, welcome ::slow clap:: after engaging in a little stalking and noticing the twitter handle....I used to ponder on a site known as menofthescarletandgray.com and they had this weekly jam called the "SAOJ (stiff arm of justice)" Just suggesting it would be sweet to have some equal to that b/c i love me some desktop material. 

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

to further clarify, it was a picture of the best stiff arm of the week

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Wonderful.  Me likey.  Great job, Elika.

phxbuck's picture

http://www.vinniefinnphotography.com/2011/06/21/elika-sadeghi-newport-be...

Damnnn Gina!  Considering this and your a Buckeye football blogger, I think I might be in love. 

Matt's picture

Aw shit i see you elika you be wearing dem real ray ban aviators not some cheap ass shizz that the bridge and tunnel crowd buys from a sketchy looking guy with anxious eyes on a street corner in so-ho

Denny's picture

Jim Tressel's sunglasses? Ray Small Ban.

 

 

 

GET IT!?

Taquitos.

Matt's picture

LMFAO I GOT IT I GOT IT ROFLCOPTER TOUR FOR ONE, PLEASE

Elika's picture

Denny's comment I get. Matt's not so much. But this wouldn't be the first time I've been lost...

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Denny's picture

I can only speak for meself, but I'm pretty sure Matt and I 'love making non-sequiturs and tangential comments' and 'provide a positive feedback loop for one another'.

Taquitos.

Elika's picture

I'll catch on... eventually :)

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Elika's picture

I believe in some cultures it's customary to at least buy a lady a drink before you google her.

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Colin's picture

A California (OC no less) girl with what appears to be modeling experience turned midwest football blogger, th-thattt...that just doesn't happen. 

Denny's picture

It may not happen often, but that doesn't excuse anyone being a vocal creep.

Taquitos.

Colin's picture

Who was being a creep?

Denny's picture

creepy Google bro.

Taquitos.

Colin's picture

I just went to the like PHXBUCK posted...  not nearly as creepy as talking about yoga pants, not that I would have a problem with the yoga pants.

Reens's picture

Not you - he was referring to some of the others comments (I'm assuming) that were of creeper nature.

Bring a lady in and all hell breaks loose...

Elika's picture

Oh... must clarify. No modeling experience, no modeling aspirations, no modeling delusions... was just helping out a couple up and coming photographer friends. Sorry, hate to burst your bubble! Parents are OSU alum, and I was born and raised in California bleeding scarlet and gray. Also... OSU MBA Class of '09.

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

JakeBuckeye's picture

Did I see someone say that you were originally from the OC?

Elika's picture

Originally, and currently.

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

what is this..match.com? i swore i clicked on the elevenwarriors bookmark...us ugly people are just trying to get some football jibber-jabber :)

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

phxbuck's picture

Your right, I apologize

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Is this the same Matt Sussman who used to write for the Toledo Free Press? He didn't show too many smarts back then.

Reens's picture

That's a great article and I think this will be very cool going forward. I don't love to hear such deflated answers but it is reality. I just can't wait to hear some of the rivals give me even more ammunition to get fired up...if thats possible. Plus, I like knowing more about our opponents so this is going to be really cool.

And thanks again, Elika for the heads up at D&B's...I was getting nervous I wouldn't find a place and that BTN2GO isn't out yet. Not to mention that you saved me from pestering a lot of people who couldn't care less...

Buckeyefanaic's picture

Ugg ... even with your looks, it is unacceptable to start an 11W post with "happy hump day."  Thanks!

OHIOST8

GoBucks713's picture

hump day is reserved for theChive.com and theChive.com only.

-The Aristocrats!

Elika's picture

I'll try to mix up the greetings just for you...

How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!