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Biggest Wins and Worst Defeats in UA Football History


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With talk of the FUTURE (especially conference realignment) dominating much of the off-season discussion, I thought it might be fun to balance some of this with a topic centered on the PAST.

We’ve talked a LOT on this board about the various coaches in Akron’s D-1 history. And we’ve also discussed recollections of numerous memorable games, good (not so many) and bad (too many), over the years. So I came up with the idea of combining the two concepts into a “poll” of sorts (too complicated for a real “poll”, but hopefully this will still be entertaining in its own way).

Here’s the idea. I’m going to list what I believe are the biggest wins and worst defeats for each Zip head coach during his tenure (it’s up to YOU to decide what “biggest” and “worst” mean to you). I’m starting with Dennison (because I never saw a Larson team), but feel free to go back as far as you’d like. I’m curious to see how much consensus there is or isn’t.

Dennison

Biggest Win – Zips shutout Ball St on the road in 1976, 3-0 (Cards were MAC champs)

Worst Defeat – Austin Peay blows out the Zips in a 1980 Rubber Bowl matchup, 41-14.

Faust

Biggest Win – Home standing Zips crush the UC Bearcats 31-0 under a warm autumn sun in 1989.

Worst Defeat – Delaware STATE explodes on the Zips 52-26 in a horrifying 1987 Rubber Bowl tilt.

Owens

Biggest Win – Tough call here (almost went with the Jason Taylor “win” against Va Tech), but I finally decided on the thrilling 35-29 comeback victory over Navy in Annapolis, with Roger Staubach and other Midshipmen alums observing their 1999 homecoming game.

Worst Defeat – Miami U actually takes a knee BEFORE HALFTIME, in a humiliating 65-0 shellacking down in Oxford to close out Owens 1st year at the helm in 1995.

Brookhart

Biggest Win – Getsy-to-Hixon with 10 seconds left, and Zips nip NIU 31-30 in 2005 MAC Championship.

Worst Defeat – Any loss to K.E.N.T. blows, and the 37-15 whipping of 2006, after the Zips started the season so well in Raleigh, ranks up there in most sickening losses of all-time.

Ianello

Biggest Win – The coin says the 22-14 win over Buffalo to close out the 2010 season and provide Zip fans with only their third FBS victory at the Info to date.

Worst Defeat – When you lose a home game to a team from the Big South, that’s all one needs to know: G-Webb 38, Zips 37 (OT) 2010.

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Darrin Alcorns LOOONNNNGGG FG vs. Toledo?

Who was that, Owens right? We stormed the field = big win.

As you mentioned, his biggest loss had to be Miami 0-65.

Nooo. That was Faust. That was the Acme-Zip game in 1992, which was the year that Gerry has only 3 losses, and posted our best record even in D-1A competition....which still stands today.

By the way, I was way too old to be running on the field that night......but I did it anyway !!!! :CK_brew:

Steve French's radio call of that field goal is legendary.

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By the way, I was way too old to be running on the field that night......but I did it anyway !!!! :CK_brew:

I don't know if I was too old, but I was too drunk. I fell down when I jumped over the wall.

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Brookhart's best win: NO DOUBT the MAC Championship win.

Brookhart's worst loss: Though the Can't loss in 2006 was extremely disappointing, the loss to UB in the last game ever at the Rubber Bowl stings the most. We were in such good position with three games to play and that game just flattened our season...and future.

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Thanks, Hilltopper, for including Larson, as I was hoping someone would. I've read about that Tampa win. Apparently the Zips played the Spartans a few times back in the day, some games including future 49er Freddie Solomon (recently deceased) at QB for Tampa.

R4R, you have a good point on the 2008 Buffalo loss as being a tipping point in the recent fortunes of the program.

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Brookhart

Biggest Win – Getsy-to-Hixon with 10 seconds left, and Zips nip NIU 31-30 in 2005 MAC Championship.

Worst Defeat – Any loss to K.E.N.T. blows, and the 37-15 whipping of 2006, after the Zips started the season so well in Raleigh, ranks up there in most sickening losses of all-time.

2009 loss to Indiana killed me. We were favored to beat a crummy Indiana team, and CJ11 gets suspended. This was one of those games that Coach Bowden says "bring your friends to help the progrum." I did, and the Zips fell flat on their faces. I was embarrassed at that game. So for me, that was the worst defeat.
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Didn't we beat a ranked Marshall team at the Rubber Bowl? Wasn't that the game when Leftwich was carried around by his linemen?
#5 on the Top Ten Playing With Pain

Date: Nov. 2, 2002

Situation: Marshall at Akron.

Injury: Broken left tibia.

Result: Byron Leftwich went to the hospital for X-rays in the first quarter of a scoreless game. By the time he came back, Marshall trailed 27-10 midway through the third quarter. Leftwich threw for 208 yards the rest of the way but his rally fell short as Akron held on for a 34-20 victory. The outcome of the game, however, long has been forgotten. The enduring image from that night was Leftwich being carried downfield by offensive linemen Steve Sciullo and Steve Perretta after a 41-yard completion to wideout Darius Watts in the fourth quarter and several other big plays.

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Brookhart's best win: NO DOUBT the MAC Championship win.

Maybe it was a MAC title game, but in terms of national impact, there was no bigger win than NC State. And it happened on the road.

And talk about going from such a high, to such a low..........we lost 7 day later to Central Mighigan, and got embarrassed at Ken+ two weeks later.

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#5 on the Top Ten Playing With Pain

Result: Byron Leftwich went to the hospital for X-rays in the first quarter of a scoreless game. By the time he came back, Marshall trailed 27-10 midway through the third quarter. Leftwich threw for 208 yards the rest of the way but his rally fell short as Akron held on for a 34-20 victory. The outcome of the game, however, long has been forgotten. The enduring image from that night was Leftwich being carried downfield by offensive linemen Steve Sciullo and Steve Perretta after a 41-yard completion to wideout Darius Watts in the fourth quarter and several other big plays.

Fixed it for you.

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How about the 1976 playoff game at the bowl that we won in OT? Memory is kinda hazy, but it was COLD, snowing (OK, typical Akron weather). I was in the band, and I believe by the end of the night, there were more band members in the bowl than other spectators. It got the Zips to the Div II national championship game the next weekend. (That's another story).

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  • 12 years later...

Was at that memorable 1976 playoff win. When the 31/2 hour game finally ended, the temperature was about 12 degrees. This was a time when weather experts were talking about global cooling. The opponent that day was Northern Michigan, the defending National champs and I believe, winners of 25 of their previous 26 games. QB for Northern was Steve Mariucci, future NFL coach. Sad day for Northern got even worse that night: their placekicker got off the team bus, started to run to his girlfriend, was struck by a car and died the next day.

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