The expectations were set high for the Akron Zips in 2022, but they limped to a 2-10 record overall. Do the Akron season predictions for 2023 see the Zips faring any better this fall?
Akron Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the MAC and across the country.
Find Every MAC Season Prediction per team: Ball State | Central Michigan | Eastern Michigan | Northern Illinois | Toledo | Western Michigan | Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami (OH) | Ohio
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Akron season predictions set out to showcase what Zips’ fans can expect in 2023.
Week 1 – Akron @ Temple: Loss, 19-30
A tough non-conference schedule starts immediately as Akron travels east to Temple. The Owls are led by high-flying quarterback E.J. Warner and the roster’s overhaul through the portal has been inspiring.
Akron is a few pieces short of a complete roster at this stage and may struggle to contain the Owls’ passing attack in this game.
Week 2 – Akron vs. Morgan State: Win, 35-14
Thankfully, the Zips return home amid their tumultuous non-conference schedule and have a date with Morgan State. This game seems winnable on the surface and DJ Irons should be able to put forth an awesome display of his talent against a depleted Morgan State defense.
Wins don’t come any easier on Akron’s schedule in 2023.
Week 3 – Akron @ Kentucky: Loss, 9-37
The non-conference schedule heats up against for Akron as they head to Lexington for a date with the Wildcats. Kentucky has their own issues and questions this offseason but their acquisition of Devin Leary in the transfer portal is enough to make them heavy favorites here.
Kentucky’s SEC power on the defensive front should force Irons off his spot in the pocket and their speed in the back seven is enough to contain him.
Week 4 – Akron @ Indiana: Loss, 19-33
The Indiana Hoosiers may lack luster compared to some of the previous rosters they’ve fielded in the Tom Allen era, yet this is a roster full of potential. It may be just that — potential — compared to the rest of the Big Ten units this fall, but it’s certainly enough to overpower this Akron unit that should be overmatched and undersized on both sides of the ball.
Week 5 – Akron vs. Buffalo: Loss, 18-29
MAC play starts with a home date against Buffalo. Largely seen as one of the best three teams in the conference, the Bulls hold firepower on both sides of the ball, most notably their quarterback Cole Snyder.
Quietly torching opposing defenses last season, Snyder tossed a season-high three touchdowns against the Zips in 2022. There is nothing indicating he won’t have an even better season than he did last year and that includes his conference opener against Akron.
Week 6 – Akron vs. Northern Illinois: Loss, 22-26
A winnable contest in their second MAC outing, the Zips are surely set to be in this contest against Northern Illinois. However, Thomas Hammock’s unit is always well-coached and the return of Trayvon Rudolph has even the most casual MAC fan excited.
Rudolph’s involvement in the NIU offense is as important as any non-quarterback in the MAC and he should be considered a favorite for top conference player by this time. The Zips will need a few lucky bounces to compete for all four quarters against NIU.
MORE: MAC QB Rankings 2023
Week 7 – Akron @ Central Michigan: Loss, 14-26
The Central Michigan Chippewas don’t have the best roster – at least on paper – this season. It’s full of questions and the loss of multiple players on the outside on offense and defense loom large.
However, the Chips have Bert Emanuel Jr. at quarterback. His dual-threat ability is overshadowed by his rushing ability but he showcased on more than enough occasions last season that he has the talent to build on his passing ability. Emanuel runs all over the Zips here, though.
Week 8 – Akron @ Bowling Green: Loss, 17-26
It should be Connor Bazelak at quarterback for Bowling Green as the former Indiana and Missouri signal-caller is in the fold and in the discussion for the most potential among all the conference’s QBs. However, BGSU is a roster void of top talent on defense and may struggle to contain Irons and Co. on offense.
The biggest difference maker in this contest is certainly the duo of Odieu Hiliare and Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim at wide receiver. This duo should give MAC defensive backs fits all season long.
Week 10 – Akron vs. Kent State: Loss, 19-26
Arguably, Kent State has been the most beat up by the transfer portal this offseason. The loss of Devontez Walker to North Carolina and Collin Schlee to UCLA stand out as the Golden Flashes have some atoning to do on offense.
However, it appears they’ve started to get things figured out this offseason and present a challenge with their rushing attack. Akron falls by the wayside in this contest due to the ground game from Kent State.
Week 11 – Akron @ Miami (OH): Loss, 23-26
Arguably the last of the winnable contests for the Zips presents itself in a midweek game against Miami (OH). The RedHawks host Akron with a potential dual-starter situation at quarterback as each Aveon Smith and Brett Gabbert have shown promise at times in their respective careers.
We figure by Week 11, they will have figured this out and have enough on the offensive side of the ball to edge out their state rivals.
Week 12 – Akron @ Eastern Michigan: Loss, 17-29
A tough road game against Eastern Michigan leads to their toughest conference game yet, and Akron can’t afford to overlook the Eagles with their impending date against Ohio looming. EMU may have a different feel this season but the return of Samson Evans at running back gives them one of the top options on the ground in the MAC.
Week 13 – Akron vs. Ohio: Loss, 21-38
The favorites from the East, Ohio stands the test of time and Kurtis Rourke is good enough to make the Bobcats favorites in all but one game this year. As long as Ohio stays healthy, a return to the MAC Championship Game is on the horizon, and all they have to do is clear a few hurdles in the way.
Akron is one of those hurdles as this predicted loss to Ohio gives them a paltry 1-11 record this season. It’s a tough schedule for the Zips in 2023 and it looks like the going may get a little tougher for Joe Moorhead and Co.