Orlando, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Blake Bortles threw three touchdown heaves while Storm Johnson rushed for two scores as UCF crushed Akron, 38-7, in Thursday’s season opener at BH Networks Stadium.
Bortles completed 18 of 24 passes for 314 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman, to carry the Knights to eighth straight season-opening win.
The junior quarterback led the Knights to four scoring drives in the first half for a 24-0 advantage at the break that they never relinquished en route to their second straight opening-day win over the Zips.
Johnson carried the ball 20 times for 99 yards while Perriman caught three passes for 113 yards and a score. J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall combined for 112 yards on six catches and one touchdown each for the Knights.
Kyle Pohl went 16-for-21 for 98 yards with no touchdown while backup Nick Hirschman hit two of four heaves for 18 yards and a touchdown pass with 42 seconds left in the game.
Overall, the Knights garnered 476 total yards compared to the Zips’ 250 yards. Akron also had two turnovers.
Bortles put the Knights on the board with a 91-yard touchdown pass to Perriman for a 7-0 lead.
Minutes later, Bortles doubled the Knights’ lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Hall that capped a 12-play, 91-yard drive in the first period.
In the second period, Bortles engineered an 8-play, 75-yard drive that he capped with a 39-yard pass to Worton.
Then, Shawn Moffitt buried a field goal with 58 seconds left to give the Knights a commanding 24-0 lead at the break.