Sports Nebraska and Akron won’t play on Saturday after a long weather delay


Nebraska and Akron won’t play a football game this weekend. They got in an opening kickoff on Saturday before storms in the Lincoln area caused a three-hour delay. And after a flurry of reports that they’d play at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday, Nebraska said the game was off:

This game’s not being played! But if it had been, these would’ve been some storylines.

In 2017, the Akron went to a bowl game for only the third time in program history and won its first MAC East title in 12 years. Head coach Terry Bowden’s reward for pulling the Zips from the dregs of his division and into the warming glow of mediocrity is a season opener against an old-money FBS powerhouse.

Akron will travel to Lincoln for a Week 1 showdown against a Nebraska team intent on winning its first-ever Big Ten West title this fall. The Cornhuskers fell to 4-8 last season, then brought in familiar face Scott Frost to restore their storied program. The former Heisman Trophy winner led a shocking turnaround at Central Florida to turn the Knights from an AAC laughingstock into the peoples’ national champion (if not, you know, the recognized one). Can he perform a similar revival with his alma mater?

  • Time: 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
  • TV: Fox
  • Streaming: Fox Sports Go
  • Odds: Nebraska was favored by 23.5 points before Saturday’s kickoff. The line might move a little bit in the run-up to a new kickoff, but we’ll see.

Oh, and Akron went 6-2 in the MAC and won its first division title in 12 years. The Zips beat WMU, Buffalo, Ohio, and Kent by a combined 15 points while losing to Toledo and Miami (Ohio) by a combined 37. They saved their best performance for their biggest game, a 37-34 upset of Ohio in mid-November.

They got obliterated by Toledo (in the MAC title game) and FAU (in the Boca Raton Bowl) to finish the season, yes. The Rockets and Owls pasted them by a combined 95-31. Because of this and blowout losses to Penn State and Iowa State in non-conference play (plus a tight loss at Troy), Akron finished with a rare 7-7 record.

  • Just your regular reminder that Nebraska and Minnesota battle for the $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy every year.

What can Frost squeeze out of his quarterbacks in 2018?

The Husker head coach turned McKenzie Milton into one of the FBS’s top quarterbacks in his two seasons with the Knights. His offense demands a passer who can handle a wide range of responsibilities and is best suited for an experienced veteran. This fall, his QB depth chart will consist of two freshmen and a walk-on junior.

Nebraska didn’t have an announced starting quarterback as of a week ago. Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez could both see action on Saturday and throughout the season as they struggle to prove they can handle Frost’s system. If one can flip the switch, it could boost the Cornhuskers from the middle of the Big Ten West to a spot near the top of the standings.

2018 looks like a reset year for the Zips. S&P+ gives the Huskers an 84 percent chance to start their season off with a win.

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