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I begin this piece a bit out of sorts and a bit jealous.

I'm supposed to play the journalist's angle, but as a UC fan and grad, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't disappointed with the effort in Tennessee in game No. 2.

If you read this last week (and God bless you) you know that I may have overextended myself saying UC should've gone into Knoxville and just had a business-like performance over Tennessee.

 In some ways, I was correct.

If you're a Tennessee fan and you weren't concerned when Isaiah Pead rambled 65 yards on the first play, you're lying.  Ditto for the second touchdown that came relatively easy.

However, I'm guessing the Vol fans were feeling better once they saw that UC's defensive backs were playing UT's receivers as far back as Sevierville.  In many ways, I thought I was seeing Peyton Manning at quarterback, or the next Carl Pickens at receiver.

I'm also jealous that the Tennessee fan base thinks so much of their football team, that they find my little ol' blogpost and blow it up.  In all of my writings here, I've never had as many comments about one article.

In one way, I was flattered, in another, I was tired of reading Volunteer fans ripping me all weekend. Had they read anything I wrote, they would've seen my closeness and appreciation of the Tennessee program.

Some people just read what they want to read and see what they want to see.

What I'd like to see is UC fans catch the same fervor the Volunteer fans have. Sure, it's easy to laugh at, but (statistically speaking) the two products haven't been all that dissimilar.

The difference is in the passion and I commend the Orange folks for what they have.  In Knoxville, the fans come in by the wagon load. Here, it depends on when the bandwagon starts.

I know that doesn't speak for all, but deep down, you know I'm right.  We're a bandwagon town.

Everyone wants to have an Opening Day party, but they don't want to follow the Reds in August if they're not in first. 

We throw Super Bowl parties when many can't name three players on either team.  Derby parties have a lot to drink, but little in terms of handicapping knowledge.

Each summer, we buy a new Hawaiian shirt for Buffett at Riverbend, but are lost beyond "Margaritaville" , "Fins" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise".  Oh well, it's a party.

At Nippert, the party was on when Brian Kelly lit the scoreboard up and UC racked up wins, but it's dissipated some since.

Sure, the Akron Zips don't give you chills like Michigan and Notre Dame, but Nippert Stadium gives you a nice Saturday respite and several opportunities for a cold beverage you couldn't get at "The Big House" or in South Bend.

What's the harm?

Will any of you ride an Akron web columnist like the Volunteers rode me last week?

Will you utilize UC's new tailgating options and throw some money in the local economy? Or, will you just look from afar in your lawn chair watching youth soccer, peeling orange slices and waiting to do that gosh awful "human bridge" thing for Biff and Muffy?

(OK, going a little "Matt Foley" on you--I'll slow down.)

Chris_Farley.jpg
(Courtesy SNL/mattfoley.com)

Here's the Cliff's (Scott's) notes for this week.

1) Isaiah Pead will get the first carry. Akron will know it and still won't be able to stop it.
2) Zach Collaros needs to run more.  I think they've put the brakes on.  Time to freelance No. 12.
3) Anthony McClung will catch a TD.  Because of D.J. Woods and Kenbrell Thompkins, McClung benefits. Kind of like a good college fantasy play.
4) Travis Kelce? Wildcat? Anyone?
5) Akron WILL throw the ball against UC. Why wouldn't you based on the tape?
6) Kickoffs must reach the endzone.  This is big boy football. If not, let Milligan kick because he'll make a play somehow.
7) UC's a huge favorite. Anything less than 50 points is mildly disappointing.
8) If UC goes for it at 4th and 1, everyone will hold their breath and hope they use the other 99 percent of the field.
9) Sadly, Kirk Herbstreit won't pick us on Gameday. This week, there won't be a mention.
10) Don't EVER "Fear the 'Roo"!

Now that I've got all that out of my system, enjoy these reflections of UC quarterback Zach Collaros on his first game against Akron and his next game with the Zips.


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