ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Down 21-10 in the third quarter and with over 100,000 fans rooting against them, Akron had a fourth-and-goal play to win come up short and the Zips fell 28-24 to No. 11/12 Michigan on Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
The Zips (1-2) had the ball at their own 25 with 2:49 to go and a chance to win at the "Big House," but Kyle Pohl's pass into the endzone missed its mark. Pohl finished the game 25-of-49 passing for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He helped put the Zips in the position to win by connecting on 16-of-27 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
Akron finished the game with 418 yards of offense (311 passing, 107 rushing) compared to Michigan's 425 (248 passing, 177 rushing). The Zips forced four turnovers and committed two of their own. UA held a 33:16-26:44 advantage in time of possession.
Devin Gardner led the offense for Michigan (3-0), connecting on 16-of-30 passes for 248 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had 103 yards rushing on 10 carries with one touchdown and one fumble.
After forcing a three-and-out to open the second half, the Zips marched down the field as Pohl connected with D'Orazio for a 28-yard touchdown with 9:56 left in the third period. The eight-play, 75-yard drive gave Akron a 10-7 lead.
The Wolverines would answer with a four-play, 57-yard drive to regain the advantage, 14-10, with 8:13 to go in the third quarter. On its next possession, Michigan would take a 21-10 lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Gardner to Jehu Chesson.
March put the Zips back in the game with a 27-yard pick-six to cut the UM lead to 21-17 with 14:46 to go in the game. It was his second interception of the afternoon.
Akron looked as if it were going to take the lead, driving all the way down to the Michigan 2-yard line before Pohl was picked off in the endzone with 12:54 left in the game.
The Zips defense would hold and Akron would take a 24-21 lead with 4:10 remaining on a 1-yard TD pass from Pohl to Tyrell Goodman. The Wolverines would answer, driving 70 yards on four plays to regain the lead at 28-24 with 2:49 remaining.
Akron had its chance, driving down the field from its own 25, to set up 3rd-and-1 at the 1-yard line. Chisholm was dropped behind the line, setting up fourth down with 0:05 remaining. Michigan brought the pressure, forcing Pohl to hurry his pass and overthrow his receiver to end the game.
UM opened up the scoring, connecting on a 48-yard touchdown pass on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead at the 10:29 mark of the first quarter.
Akron would answer late in the first quarter with a 45-yard field goal by Robert Stein at the 2:59 mark. The score was set up after the defense forced a three-and-out by the Wolverines inside their own 10-yard line, followed by a 21-yard punt by the UM punter.
Six plays later, Pohl would be picked off by UM's Blake Countess, giving the Wolverines the ball at the Akron 20. However, DeAndre Scott would get the ball back for the Zips with his first career interception.
Akron would drive down the field, but Stein's 45-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright, giving Michigan the ball back with 43 seconds left in the half.
Stein would miss his second-straight field goal, this time pushing a 55-yard attempt just left as the Zips went into the locker room trailing 7-3.
The Zips return home on Saturday, Sept. 21, to play host to the Louisiana at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on ESPN3.
Season and single-game tickets as well as mini-plans are on sale, and can be purchased online anytime at ZipsTickets.com, or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays by either calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field.
Zips Notebook: Robert Stein's missed field goal in the second quarter snapped a streak of nine-consecutive makes dating back to last season (one make in 2013) ... the Akron defense recorded three interceptions against one quarterback for the first time since Keith Wenning threw three interceptions for Ball State (Nov. 6, 2010) ... Justin March became the first Akron player with two interceptions since Miguel Graham had two INTs against Eastern Michigan on Nov. 27, 2009 ... the Zips debuted another new helmet design today, featuring a "Z" logo on each side.