Nebraska ushers in a new era on Saturday night when it hosts Akron. The game will mark the Cornhuskers’ first under Head Coach Scott Frost, the consensus National Coach of the Year in 2017. Frost came to Nebraska after a remarkable turnaround at UCF, where he guided the Knights to a perfect 2017 season. Frost has a championship pedigree as a player and a coach, quarterbacking the 1997 Huskers to a perfect 13-0 record and Big 12 and national titles.
The matchup between the Huskers and the Zips is the second all-time between the two schools. Ironically, the only other meeting occurred to open the 1997 season when Frost guided a Husker offense that amassed 644 yards of total offense en route to a 59-14 victory.
Akron is in its seventh season under Head Coach Terry Bowden, who is in his 25th season overall as a collegiate head coach. Last season the Zips posted a 7-7 overall record and captured the Mid-American Conference Eastern Division crown.
Date/Time: September 1, 2018 at 7 pm CDT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE Capacity: 85,458
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out hustlebelt.com for MAC coverage
Series Record: Nebraska leads the all-time series 1-0.
TV: The game will be televised on Fox with Tim Brando on play-by-play, Spencer Tillman, analyst, and Hollie Sonders on the sidelines. You can stream it on Fox Sports Go.
Radio: Huskers sports radio network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at huskers.com The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, and Ben MacLaughlin.
More streaming options: Husker audio is available on iTunes as well as the “Huskers” app - available in the iTunes store or Google Play. In a departure from the past, live audio is listed as free on both. (Previously, you had to pay an in-app fee of $4.99 per season to access live audio on the Huskers app.)
Weather: At kickoff, the temperature will be 79 degrees with a significant chance of rain (65%.) The wind will be fairly negligible at 7 mph from the southeast.
Odds: Nebraska is favored by 26 points
The only other time the Huskers have played Akron was the opener of the 1997 season. The quarterback for Nebraska in that game? Scott Frost. That game ended in a 59-14 Nebraska victory.
Adrian Martinez is the first true freshman to start at quarterback for a season opener in program history. Taylor Martinez is the only other freshman (Taylor was a redshirt freshman) to start a season opener. There have been two other true freshman to start at quarterback for Nebraska. They are Tommie Frazier (1992) and Cody Green (2009).
Frost on what he would like to see from his team on Saturday.
”I want to see us execute. That’s first and foremost,” Frost said “I think our team has done about as much as they can in nine months to prepare without playing a game, but you never really know on some things until its game day. There’s hitting going on, you’re playing another team. We’ve got to go out and execute and play a good game, take care of the ball and create turnovers on the defensive side.”
Frost on how to keep the freshmen relaxed during the excitement of the tunnel walk and the atmosphere of Memorial Stadium.
”We’re doing it. I don’t think you can help that. If HuskerVision is doing their job, I’m going to be jacked up so I don’t know how you can tell a guy running out there for the first time not to be,” Frost said “We just have to make sure we’re focused on what we need to do. We do a lot of things during practice to create distractions, with music, guys wanting to dance, with sudden changes. I want all our guys to be having fun and then when it’s time to play, be able to flip a switch and be able to dial in. We train them for that, and Saturday will be a test for that.”