Bortlesball… the Beef’ O’ Bortles Bowl… no matter which play on words you prefer, there was really no arguing that Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles was the MVP of the Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl against Ball State.
Bortles collected most of his 350 total yards and four touchdowns against the Cardinals in the first half when the Knights took a 28-7 lead into halftime and UCF was basically able to cruise in the second half to a 38-17 win.
Central Florida played practically a perfect first half. Even a botched extra point was made up with a two-point conversion to give UCF a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. Bortles was almost unstoppable throwing and running the ball. When Ball State was able to get pressure on Bortles on a second down from the Cardinals 7-yard-line, he was able to spin out of a would-be sack and throw a touchdown pass to running back Latavius Murray.
The Knights finish the season 10-4 after missing out on a Conference USA championship and should head into the Big East next season as one of the favorites to compete for a league title right away.
Ball State finishes with nine wins under second-year coach Pete Lembo. The Cardinals have won 15 games in those two seasons, but are still looking for their first bowl win as a program. But as long as Lembo is the coach in Muncie, BSU is going to be just fine.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”