The Akron Zips and the Mid-American Conference released the schedules for the 2017 football season. Head coach Terry Bowden looks to improve on a 5-7 season in 2016.

The Zips face a tough test to begin the 2017 season. Akron travels to ‘Happy Valley’ to take on the Big Ten champion Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State played in the Rose Bowl last season and had a legitimate case to represent the Big Ten conference in the College Football Playoffs over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Akron’s home opener at Infocision Stadium takes place in week two of the 2017 college football season. The Zips host Arkansas Pine Bluff. The non-conference portion of the schedule wraps up with a home game against the Iowa State Cyclones on September 16 and a trip to Troy, Alabama to face the Troy Trojans on September 23.

The Mid-American Conference season begins on September 30. Bowden and the Zips make a trip across the Buckeye state to face the Bowling Green Falcons on September 30.

Akron’s conference home opener is October 7 against the Ball State Cardinals. Homecoming also takes place that weekend. The rest of October features back to back road games against the Western Michigan Broncos on October 14 and the Toledo Rockets on October 21. The Zips finish October on October 28 at home against the Buffalo Bulls.

November is an interesting month for the Zips. It starts with a bye week on November 4. So will it really feel like a bye week after playing nine straight weeks? It should if you have a full two weeks between games.

The Zips don’t have that luxury,due to the final three games of the regular season taking place on Tuesday nights. It allows the Mid-American Conference a weekly opportunity to feature their programs in front of a national television audience on the ESPN family of networks.

Akron takes on the Miami Redhawks on the road on November 7. That game airs on ESPN2. The Zips finish the season with back to back home games. On November 14 the Zips face off against the Ohio Bobcats on ESPN2. The season concludes on November 21 against the rival Kent State Golden Flashes on ESPNU. The Zips and Flashes will battle for right to possess the ‘Wagon Wheel.’

Akron will hold their annual spring football game on April 22 at noon. Kickoff times for all 12 regular season games will be announced at a later date.

Scott Piker is the lead staff writer for the Cleveland Browns in addition to the Ohio State Buckeyes at Endzone Score. So follow him on Twitter @ScottPikerSport.

%d bloggers like this: