Woodson opened the scoring for the Zips (3-3, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) with a 24-yard strike to Austin Wolf on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to begin the game. Woodson also connected with Kwad Smith from 21 yards out in the fourth quarter. Deltron Sands scored on a 32-yard run in the second quarter and Tom O'Leary added a 48-yard field to give Akron a 17-3 halftime lead.
The Zips now lead the series 12-11-1.
Jack Milas completed 21 of 41 passes for 176 yards and was picked off three times for the Cardinals (2-4, 0-2). Caleb Huntley carried 25 times for 129 yards for Ball State. Justin Hall, who came into the game first among freshman nationally with 35 catches and 431 yards, caught seven passes for 48 yards.
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Some things are simple.
Norfolk and Blacksburg are separated by about 300 miles of interstate driving.
It figures to be an emotional game when No. 21 Miami hosts Florida International on Saturday, but one hopes it doesn't reach the fervor of the first meeting between the two neighboring programs 12 years ago.
Auburn may have taken a gut-punch when LSU drilled a field goal as time ran out for a 22-21 victory last week, but at least coach Gus Malzahn's crew doesn't have to live down an embarrassing YouTube clip like Arkansas, this week's opponent.
A perceived difference of styles will be on display on Saturday when No. 12 West Virginia travels to always-tough Kansas State for the two teams' Big 12 Conference-opening clash at Milan Puskar Stadium om Morgantown, W.Va.
Arizona State knocked Washington out of contention for the College Football Playoff last season, winning 13-7 in mid-October.