The Florida Atlantic Owls (11-3) destroyed the Akron Zips (7-7) 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl. Nebraska will face Akron in the opening game of the 2018 season.
It was the tenth consecutive victory for FAU, which is the second longest active winning streak in the nation behind the University of Central Florida. New Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has guided the UCF Knights to a dozen straight victories during their undefeated 12-0 regular season.
FAU’s offense racked up 582 total yards, with 312 of those yards coming on the ground. Akron’s defense was stout on third down, with FAU converting just 3 of their 12 third down plays. But Lane Kiffin continued to be aggressive on fourth down, as the Owls converted five of their six fourth down attempts into a fresh set of downs. Incredibly, the Owls scored touchdowns on three of their six fourth down attempts.
Lane Kiffin in the 1st Q:
– Yelled at a sideline reporter for not asking a question
– Went for it on 4th & 2 from own 29
– Went for it on 4th & goal from the 4 and scored
– Onside kick
– Called TO so Akron had to run a play before the quarter ended
Only getting better from here
— Bob Ballou (@BobBallouSports) December 20, 2017
The loss gives Akron a 7-7 overall record for 2017. The Zips went 6-3 in the MidAmerican Athletic Conference play, but they lost four of their fives non-conference games. Akron’s out-of-conference losses included an opening day shutout at the hands of then-No. 6 Penn State (52-0), a September 16th loss at Iowa State (41-14), and a 22-17 loss at 2018 Huskers opponent Troy.
Akron’s lone non-conference win was a 52-3 blowout over FCS opponent Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Huskers face the Zips on September 3, 2018.
If Terry Bowden returns, he’ll be the second Bowden to face Nebraska on Opening Day. His father Bobby Bowden also faced Nebraska on opening day in 1985 and 1986. The back-to-back Bobby Bowden versus Tom Osborne clashes were both played at Memorial Stadium.
In 1985, Bowden’s No. 17 ranked Seminoles stormed into Lincoln and stunned the No. 10 ranked Huskers 17-13 on ABC. Nebraska then proceeded to win 29-straight opening games, a streak that was snapped by BYU in the opening game of the Mike Riley era.
Nebraska has faced Akron just one time in their history. The 1997 Cornhuskers, led by quarterback Scott Frost, opened their season by smashing the Akron Zips 59-14 en route to their third national championship in four years.