Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 things to know about Akron

Cyclones step out of Big 12 play to host Zips Saturday

Akron Zips head coach Terry Bowden poses with his team after defeating the Northwestern Wildcats  at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Quinn Harris/USA TODAY Sports)
Akron Zips head coach Terry Bowden poses with his team after defeating the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Quinn Harris/USA TODAY Sports)

Here are five things to know about Iowa State football’s next opponent, the Akron Zips.

1. Born and bred to coach

Akron’s head coach is Terry Bowden — yes, that Bowden family. His dad, Bobby Bowden was the head coach at Florida State from 1976-2009. Bobby is fourth on the NCAA’s all-time wins list with 377 career wins.

Terry’s brother, Tommy, was the coach at Clemson from 1999-2008. Tommy led the Tigers to a 72-45 overall record.

Terry’s coaching history isn’t too shabby, either. He took home every national coach of the year award in 1993, his first year coaching at Auburn. He led the Tigers to an 11-0 record and a national championship.

In the 1990s, each of the Bowdens led their respective teams to undefeated seasons and they all won national coach of the year honors in the decade.

Terry has coached at Akron since 2012 and has led the Zips to two bowl games in the last three years.

One Terry fun fact is he did post-graduate work at Oxford University across the pond in England. He also has a Juris Doctorates degree from Florida State.

2. Akron also has a canceled game

Like Iowa State, Akron’s first game of the season was canceled. The Zips were supposed to play Nebraska on Sept. 1, but the same storm cell that sullied Iowa State’s opener against South Dakota State ruined Akron’s as well.

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Akron has gone 2-0 since the cancellation, beating Morgan State 41-7 and upsetting Northwestern 39-34.

The win over Northwestern was the first win against a Big Ten team since 1894.

“Obviously when you’re coming to a Big Ten team like Northwestern, and you’re three touchdown underdogs, everyone doubts,” Bowden said after the game. “The first thing is to get your kids to believe that they can win.”

3. Ball hawk

Akron defensive back Alvin Davis has shown himself to be a defensive force through two games. The junior has three interceptions for 149 yards. He had a pair of pick-sixes against Northwestern.

Davis also forced a fumble against Morgan State.

Davis earned second-team All-MAC as a sophomore and has been a three-year starter for Bowden.

Last season, he was the team’s second leading tackler with 83 tackles.

4. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

Akron is the only school in the nation nicknamed the “Zips.” Zips comes from a rubber overshoe made by the Akron-based company BF Goodrich that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The school put the nickname to a vote in 1925 with other choices and “Zippers” won out. It was later shortened to Zips in 1950.

Its mascot is a kangaroo named Zippy. Zippy is one of only eight college female mascots in the nation.

5. Other notables

— Former Miami Dolphins star and NFL Hall of Famer Jason Taylor graduated from Akron in 1997. He played both football and basketball for the Zips. Last season, when Iowa State traveled to Akron, the school honored Taylor and inducted him into its Ring of Honor, but he wasn’t able to attend.

— The University of Akron is credited with several rubber innovations — Goodyear, Firestone and BF Goodrich have all had their headquarters in Akron. The University of Akron also had the first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in the world.

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