ORLANDO, Fla. -- Blake Bortles had three touchdown passes and threw for a career-high 314 yards as UCF blew past Akron 38-7 on Thursday night.
Storm Johnson added 99 yards rushing and two scores as the Knights won their eighth consecutive season-opener and second straight over the Zips.
It was the first 300-yard passing game of Bortles' career and the first by a Knights' quarterback since 2009.
Akron dropped its 10th straight game, dating back to last season.
The Zips put pressure on Bortles, but never got traction on offense and had a pair of turnovers. Akron also struggled on third down in the first half (2 of 6) and failed to keep UCF's secondary off balance despite its hurry-up attack.
Just about everything went right for the Knights in their first outing of the season.
Bortles found three different receivers for scores in a first half that saw the Knights punt on only two of their six possessions.
The junior quarterback survived a near disaster when he was stripped as he drew his arm back to throw on the game's opening play. He fell on the ball, though, and on the next snap Bortles' hit a streaking Breshad Perriman in the middle of the field with his first actual pass of the night.
Akron had its best drive of the half on its first possession, but it ended with a punt right after the Zips past midfield.
UCF quickly went back to work as Bortles led the Knights on a 12-play, 91-yard drive that was capped with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rannell Hall. The drive also featured a 20-yard scramble by Bortles, mixed in with several elusive runs by Johnson.
The Knights' lead grew to three touchdowns early in the second quarter on another long Bortles' pass, this time a 39-yard strike J.J. Worton, which made it 21-0. Bortles managed to hit Worton in stride despite being on the run and throwing across his body.
The Zips' offense tried to keep up its fast-paced no-huddle attack throughout the half, but managed just 83 total yards in the opening 30 minutes, including one turnover. The handful of drives that did show some traction were all stunted on third down.
Their defense did at times get some pressure on Bortles -- producing three sacks -- but still gave up 310 yards to the Knights.
Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl was 16 of 28 for 98 yards and an interception in his first-career start.
The Zips' lone score came late in the game with junior backup Nick Hirschman under center.
The Knights are on the road next at Florida International. Akron opens its home schedule against James Madison.
Baylor University outlines an external review it has commissioned to investigate how the school handled sexual assault cases.
Former Blinn College coach Brad Franchione describes Panthers star Cam Newton's transformation from playing at the junior college in 2009 to playing in Super Bowl 50.
North Carolina inked the No. 34-ranked recruiting class in the 2016 cycle with one ESPN 300 (Tomon Fox) and four more four-stars. The class of 2017 is well on the way to besting the 2016 class with four ESPN Jr300 verbals less than one week after signing day with the most recent being in state receiver Ryan Jones Friday.
Oregon running back Thomas Tyner has decided to take a medical retirement after sitting out all of last season because of a shoulder injury.
It hasn't been an easy road at USC for Pat Haden, the former Trojans quarterback turned athletic director, but at 63, he's earned the right to relax.
Readers want to know about all "downer" material, Iowa cutting ties with Stanford and an inherent southern bias in recruiting rankings.