Blake Bortles leads UCF past Akron in season opener

Knights down Zips 56-14

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AKRON, Ohio - Blake Bortles passed for 168 yards and three touchdowns as Central Florida ruined Terry Bowden's coaching debut at Akron, routing the mistake-prone Zips 56-14 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

Bowden's much-anticipated return to major college football 19 years after the end of his Auburn tenure couldn't have gone much worse. Akron lost three fumbles, including two inside its own 10-yard line, and also had an interception.

Bowden came to Akron after guiding North Alabama to a 29-9 record the past three seasons in Division II following 10 years as a TV analyst. Prior to that, he went 47-17-1 at Auburn, going undefeated his first year in 1993.

UCF was too much for the young Zips, building a 35-0 lead by halftime.

Akron quarterback Dalton Williams went 30 of 51 for 255 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.