• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Golf
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

UCF at Akron

UCF 56, Akron 14

  •  

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Turnovers ruined Terry Bowden's first try at turning around Akron's football program.

Central Florida had four takeaways and Blake Bortles passed for 168 yards and three touchdowns as the Knights ruined Bowden's coaching debut at Akron, routing the mistake-prone Zips 56-14 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

"Not a lot of mysteries as to why they won," Bowden said following his much-anticipated return to major college football 19 years after the end of his short but successful run at Auburn.

"They played better," Bowden said. "We would have had to be about perfect to win, but we turned the ball over."

Akron lost three fumbles, including two inside its own 10-yard line, and also had an interception.

"Getting those turnovers was huge," Knights coach George O'Leary said after UCF's seventh straight season-opening win.

Bowden came to Akron after guiding North Alabama to a 29-9 record the past three seasons in Division II following 10 years as a TV analyst. Prior to that, he went 47-17-1 at Auburn, going undefeated his first year in 1993.

The energetic Bowden said it was a day of anxiety and, though the young Zips lost badly, he was proud of their tenacity.

"No matter what happened, it was the start of a push to turn this program around," Bowden said.

Akron, 1-11 in each of the past two years, couldn't keep up with the bigger and stronger Knights, who built a 35-0 halftime lead.

Bortles went 13 of 16, connecting with Rannell Hall for TDs of 18 and 56 yards, and opening the scoring with a 5-yard pass to Chris Martin.

Latavius Murray gained 108 yards with one score on 14 carries, playing little more than one quarter. He rushed for 68 yards on UCF's opening drive of 73 yards, and Murray's 2-yard run later made it 14-0.

"(Murray) had a sore shoulder, and we wanted to see some other backs, too," O'Leary said of his running back's limited time.

Miami (FL) transfer Storm Johnson scored on runs of 2 and 3 yards, both after the Knights recovered fumbles. Knights backup Tyler Gabbert also threw a 12-yard TD pass to Rob Calabrese.

O'Leary said he wanted to throw the ball even more and will try to put in a few more passing plays for the Knights' second game against Ohio State.

"We look forward to the opportunity," he said. "We'll have to play our 'A' game."

Akron quarterback Dalton Williams went 30 of 51 for 255 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to L.T. Smith and 16 yards to Marquelo Suel in the second half.

Akron ran 81 plays under Bowden's spread offense, which surprised even Williams.

"Eighty-one ... " he said. "That shows we are playing at a high tempo and that we have bought into coach Bowden's philosophy."

Bowden knows it won't be easy. Akron hasn't had a winning season since going 7-6 in 2005.

"We're going to win some and we're going to get thumped some," he said. "But I felt some excitement from the fans. I told them to buy season tickets. That way, they'll see them all because we're going to get better."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Related Video

December 19, 2014
Gary Andersen joins Jim Rome (5:13)
December 17, 2014
P.J. Fleck joins Jim Rome
(5:15)
December 17, 2014
College Football Recruiting Update: 12/17
(5:44)
December 17, 2014
Coaching changes impacting recruiting
(4:30)
 
Scoring Summary
UCFChris Martin 5 yd pass from Blake Bortles (Shawn Moffitt kick)
UCFLatavius Murray 2 yd run (Shawn Moffitt kick)
UCFStorm Johnson 2 yd run (Shawn Moffitt kick)
UCFRannell Hall 18 yd pass from Blake Bortles (Shawn Moffitt kick)
UCFStorm Johnson 3 yd run (Shawn Moffitt kick)
AKRONL.T. Smith 13 yd pass from Dalton Williams (Robert Stein kick)
UCFRannell Hall 56 yd pass from Blake Bortles (Shawn Moffitt kick)
UCFRob Calabrese 12 yd pass from Tyler Gabbert (Shawn Moffitt kick)
AKRONMarquelo Suel 16 yd pass from Dalton Williams (Robert Stein kick)
UCFCedric Thompson 4 yd run (Sean Galvin kick)
 
Team Stats
 UCFAKRON
First Downs1819
Third Down Efficiency6-116-19
Fourth Down Efficiency0-03-5
Plays-Net Yards65-38681-325
Rushes-Yds46-20627-69
Passing Yds180256
Kick Return Yds21104
Punt Return Yds73-7
Passes14-19-131-54-1
Punts5-2024-167
Fumbles-Lost0-03-3
Penalties-Yds2-163-15
Time of Poss.32:926:33
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
UCF: Latavius Murray 14-108, Cedric Thompson 11-44, Storm Johnson 12-34, Brynn Harvey 5-13, Jeff Godfrey 1-8, Blake Bortles 2-2, Tyler Gabbert 1--3
AKRON: Quentin Hines 6-37, Hakeem Lawrence 5-23, Jawon Chisholm 7-17, Conor Hundley 3-4, Imani Davis 1-2, Team 1--3, Dalton Williams 4--11
PASSING
UCF: Blake Bortles 13-16-168-1, Tyler Gabbert 1-3-12-0
AKRON: Dalton Williams 30-50-245-1, Kyle Pohl 1-4-11-0
RECEIVING
UCF: Rannell Hall 4-94, Quincy McDuffie 3-47, Jeff Godfrey 2-13, Rob Calabrese 1-12, Breshad Perriman 1-8, Chris Martin 1-5, Latavius Murray 1-3, Storm Johnson 1--2
AKRON: L.T. Smith 7-87, Marquelo Suel 7-62, Keith Sconiers 3-44, Tyrell Goodman 3-15, Tyler Williams 2-13, Dee Frieson 2-11, Dylan Potts 2-2, Quentin Hines 1-16, Hakeem Lawrence 1-12, Jerrod Dillard 1-6, Jawon Chisholm 1--2, Imani Davis 1--10
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
UCF1st American Athletic 7-19-3
Akron4th Mid American East3-55-7

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Florida State Seminoles No. 5 Nike Garnet 2015 College Football Playoffs Rose Bowl Special Event Jersey

Free 3-Day Shipping over $100!
Use code 3DAY100
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now