Bortles Shines In UCF Victory

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles had the game of this life Thursday, as he lead the Knights to an easy 38-7 win over the Akron Zips in the 2013 season opener.

Bortles finished the game with 18 completions, and a career-high in both passing yards, 318, and touchdowns, three. Bortles did not play the fourth quarter, as the Knights were riding a 38-point lead at the time.

“I thought [Bortles] was really sharp. There were three drops whether you like it or not. I thought he was on top of his game,” said head coach George O’Leary after the game.

The Knights took control of the game immediately, as Bortles connected with wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a 91-yard score just 58 seconds into the game. The touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage in UCF football history.

Perriman finished the game with three receptions and 113 yards.

Bortles began the game completing his first five passes, including a pair of touchdowns in that span.

With the loss, Akron extends its FBS-high 27-game road losing streak. The Zips have also now lost back-to-back season openers against the Knights, being outscored 94-21 in those two games.

The UCF defense held strong throughout the game, allowing just 83 yards in the first half, and 250 in the entire game with 77 yards and a touchdown coming on the final . Meanwhile, the Knights had 310 first-half yards, totaling 476 in the game.

“I was anxious to see how [the defense] transitioned to the ball, and tackled in space. I thought they did a good job,” said O’Leary. “There’s still improvement in techniques, but overall I was pleased.”

Running back Storm Johnson also had a career-game Thursday night, gaining 99 yards on 20 carries, including a pair of scores on the ground. All career-highs for the redshirt junior.

UCF wide receiver J.J. Worton was Bortles’ No. 2 option against Akron, hauling in three passes for 60 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown reception.

The Knights will head down to Miami next week, for the beginning of a two-game road trip. UCF faces off against FIU Sept. 6, with an 8 p.m. kickoff time. The Knights held on to a 23-0 halftime lead against the Panthers last season, finishing the game with a 33-20 victory.

This story will be updated with quotes following the UCF post-game press conference.