The University of Akron football team is ready to move on to what will become its de facto season opener against Morgan State at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in InfoCision Stadium.

Yet questions linger regarding the Zips’ canceled game at Nebraska last Saturday, and the primary one is this: Will the school still receive its $1.17 million guaranteed payout?

The game kicked off late, but heavy thunderstorms washed it out, necessitating the cancellation.

As for the money?

“My position is we absolutely should [be paid] because we’re still going to play the game,” UA Athletics Director Larry Williams said Tuesday morning as he watched the team practice. “We’re going to keep that option open. We were ready to play. On Saturday night, we showed up, we kicked off. We waited around until 11 o’clock before we had to call the game.”

Weather forecasts for the day mentioned the prospect of heavy rain all evening and late into the night, Zips officials said. The UA athletic department took some lumps over not playing.

In fact, Cornhuskers athletic department officials put the onus on the Zips.

“We were discussing the challenges, but we felt that we could definitely have had a game [Sunday],” Nebraska Deputy Athletic Director Bill Burton told the Lincoln Journal Star. “We knew the option of [playing] Akron during [Nebraska’s bye week date of Oct. 27] did not work because Akron plays Central Michigan. We knew that, so as we were working last night, we were discussing playing the game Sunday morning. And Akron did not want to do that.”

Williams took exception to Burton’s parsing blame.

“It was the right decision to call the game,” Williams said. “We gave it every opportunity to get it in, but the proposal coming back that we kick a game at 10:30 [Sunday morning] that somehow the host devised with their TV partner and looking at their radar. It looked like their window was 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. That was just not a reasonable option for us.”

Members of the Akron team wanted to play, with some players even offering to sleep on the floor wherever they could. Nebraska offered dorm rooms.

But UA was looking at not being able to accommodate all of its players properly in the same hotel. The team didn’t leave Memorial Stadium until after 11 p.m., and settling in a hotel would have taken a couple of hours, leaving players just four to five hours of sleep.

Given weather forecasts, should the game have been moved to earlier in the day? Fox had two games, at noon and 4 p.m., leading into the prime-time matchup between UA and Nebraska.

But given the hype about the arrival of coach Scott Frost, who quarterbacked the Cornhuskers’ last national championship team and came home after leading the University of Central Florida to an undefeated record last season, the lure of a prime-time audience may have proved too great.

“Everybody knew the weather was going to be really iffy late in the evening,” Williams said. “Everybody knew. The wise move, in retrospect, would have been moving the game up, and the TV partner would have had to adjust.”

Williams said he is confident a solution can be worked out regarding the entire situation, and he reiterated his expectation Nebraska would honor its contract with UA. Iowa State set a precedent for that Saturday, agreeing to honor South Dakota State’s payout despite their game being canceled by storms after only 4:55 had been played.

“The reasonable solution is to play the game at the end of our seasons if we can work it out,” Williams said. “We fully expect the contract to be fully abided by — they’ll maintain their responsibility to us just as [Iowa State Athletic Director] Jamie Pollard did to South Dakota State.”

George M. Thomas can be reached at gmthomas@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByGeorgeThomas.