Ohio State Football Schedule Prep: Akron Zips

The Ohio State football team will take on the Akron Zips for the first game of the season.
Sep 16, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Akron Zips head coach Joe Moorhead walks off the field
Sep 16, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Akron Zips head coach Joe Moorhead walks off the field / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time again to start preparing for the Ohio State football team's 2024 season. Last year, we introduced the schedule prep series, a weekly breakdown of the Buckeyes' upcoming football schedule.

This will be year number two of the series and we get started with an August 31st showdown with the Akron Zips. This game should be more of a glorified scrimmage to Ohio State, as Akron is still clearly one of the worst teams in the MAC. But, with Joe Moorhead as head coach, he can at least try to make things competitive for a bit.

Moorhead enters his third season as the Zips head coach with a 4-20 record since taking over in 2022. Moorhead previously worked as the offensive coordinator for Oregon where he helped organize a great gameplan in their 2021 win over Ohio State in Columbus. Moorhead was also a long-time coordinator for James Franklin at Penn State as well, and I thought he should have been considered for Ohio State's OC openings this past offseason.

The Zips will come into the game with not much firepower offensively. Senior quarterback Jeff Undercuffler is the expected starter for the Zips. He threw for 1,378 yards and four touchdowns last season. He also threw nine interceptions so the Ohio State secondary should be salivating come game time.

The top playmaker for the Zips is third-year wideout Jasaiah Gathings who had 55 receptions for 575 yards last season as a redshirt freshman. They also have a decent running back in senior Lorenzo Lingard, who ran for over 600 yards and had four scores last season.

Defensively the Zips gave up an average of 28 points per game last season and were led by linebacker Bryan McCoy who had 95 total tackles and one sack in 2023. They also have a pretty solid defensive back in KJ Martin, who led the team with two interceptions last season.

But ultimately this will not be a contest. The Zips have one of the worst rosters in college football and Joe Moorhead has to be wondering why he left his Oregon OC jobs few years back for this position. Akron is notoriously one of the worst programs historically and is one tough job for any head coach to crack.


Buckeyes should roll. Ohio State 54, Akron 3