A new era of Nebraska football kicks off Saturday evening when the Huskers host the Akron Zips at Memorial Stadium. The game marks Nebraska's first under the direction of coach Scott Frost.
This is only the second meeting all-time between the two programs. The other meeting was the season opener in 1997. Frost was Nebraska's quarterback at the time, and led the Huskers to 644 yards of total offense in the 59-14 victory.
Nebraska-Akron football TV channel, time, live stream
TV channel: FOX (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Holly Sonders)
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Date: Saturday, Sept. 1
Live stream: FOX Sports Go
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to the game on IMG Husker Sports Network, as well as on Sirius Channel 83 and XM 83. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Weather: Thunderstorms likely. High of 86 degrees. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent. One to two inches of rain expected.
Nebraska-Akron football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -26, per OddsShark
Nebraska comes into Saturday's matchup looking for a fresh start following a 4-8 season. Former coach Mike Riley was fired at the conclusion of the 2017 season, which prompted athletic director Bill Moos to seek out Frost as Nebraska's next coach.
Frost was the consensus 2017 national coach of the year. He led Central Florida to a 13-0 season, which marked the greatest two-year turnaround in college football history. After inheriting an 0-12 team, Frost and his staff were able to turn a winless team into an undefeated one in just two years.
Both Nebraska's offense and defense need turnarounds, but the Huskers are hoping for similar results to what happened at UCF. Nebraska will be led by true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez, who is set to become the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener in Huskers history.
The Zips come to Lincoln for the Huskers’ season-opener on Sep. 1 for an under-the-lights affair and it will likely feature two offenses trying to find their footing.
The Akron defense will mostly be a known commodity. Nine starters return to a unit that was okay (not great) at the bend-don’t-break defense. They weren’t able to prevent those medium-gainers that keep things on track — either in the air or on the ground, though slightly better through the air — but they hung their hat on preventing explosive plays (second in the MAC last year in yards per point, 15.82, and 31st nationally in IsoPPP, 1.09) and forcing turnovers. All four members of the secondary return after getting hands on 19 interceptions last season.
Still, Akron gave up just a shade over 30 points a game. We’re talking about a seven-loss team here. It needs help from the offense and it didn’t get consistent enough help last year.
That will be the big question again this year.
For a full look at Akron, visit Derek Peterson's opponent preview on the Zips.