Despite uncharacteristically losing a pair of fumbles, Keenan Reynolds led Navy to a 24-6 win over Middle Tennessee State in the Armed Forces Bowl Monday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.
Reynolds added to his FBS record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, scoring twice on the ground to up his total to 31 (the previous record was 27).
Middle Tennessee hung around for quite some time, though it was largely due to that sloppiness from Navy’s offense. But the Blue Raiders couldn’t turn only turn those two fumbles into three points.
Still, Navy led only 10-6 heading into the fourth quarter — but that’s when the Mids finally pulled away. Reynolds engineered an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a score early in the period, then DeBrandon Sanders’ 41-yard touchdown dash sealed the win.
Middle Tennessee State was whistled for three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and one personal foul, too.
Navy improved to 9-4 with the win, while Middle Tennessee fell to 8-5.
With a Big 12 championship on the line, as well as a possible spot in the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma head coach is optimistic his Sooners will have some key players available to take on rival Oklahoma State. Quarterback Baker Mayfield and running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are all expected to be available to play the Cowboys on Saturday.
“Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine practiced all week, and Joe Mixon has practiced every day since Wednesday,” Stoops said in a released statement Friday afternoon. “All three are expected to play tomorrow.”
Mayfield has caught fire since a loss to Texas earlier in the season. The Sooners quarterback, a rising Heisman Trophy candidate, was knocked out of a win against TCU last weekend after taking a blow to the head. Mayfield passed concussion tests administered and was to be monitored closely all week. With Stoops expecting Mayfield to play, that appears to be as good a sign as any for the Oklahoma offense.
Running backs Perine and Mixon each suffered ankle injuries in the game against the Horned Frogs, but both being available to play against Oklahoma State helps keep Oklahoma’s offense in good shape. Perine is Oklahoma’s leading rusher with 1,160 yards and 13 touchdowns. Mixon is second on the team with 613 yards and third with five touchdowns. Mayfield is second on the team with six rushing touchdowns, and he has rushed for 343 yards as well.
A win for Oklahoma on Saturday likely will be enough to keep the Sooners in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings. Oklahoma State may still need some help to sneak into the top four. Baylor is also still in the running if the Sooners take a hit.
The cost of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal continues to take a toll on Penn State University. According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the total payout total Penn State has paid to victims of the former defensive coordinator have reached nearly $93 million.
The AP report says recent financial statements from the university show an additional $33.2 million in payments related to claims connected to Sandusky’s crimes. There may be more claims to sort through as well, which means the sum of the payouts could continue to rise. Penn State previously agreed to pay 26 people connected to the Sandusky scandal a total of $56.7 million. To date, 32 claims have been paid off by the university.
Penn State agreed to pay off a $60 million fine issued by the NCAA, with the money going toward addressing child sexual abuse in the state of Pennsylvania. even after the NCAA lifted all terms of the sanctions levied against the university and football program in September 2014, Penn State remained committed to paying the entire fine as a part of a settlement with the NCAA. The NCAA lost a fight to distribute the fine money nationally, so the money will be used in-state.
Sandusky is appealing his court decision finding him guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse to children, netting him a sentence between 30 and 60 years (effectively a life sentence for the 71-year old convicted felon).
Former Big East foes square off in ACC play today when Miami visits Pittsburgh for a noon kickoff. The Hurricanes, however, will be without one offensive player. Sophomore wide receiver Tyre Brady has been suspended by the team for a violation of team rules. The nature of the violation, as is usually the case, has not been clarified beyond that vague description.
Brady is eighth on Miami’s roster with 112 receiving yards and a touchdown. Brady was listed second on the two-deep depth chart for Miami behind starter Herb Waters, Miami’s second-leading receiver with 585 yards and a touchdown.
UCF became the 17th team in college football history to go a full season without celebrating one victory. That adds up to a lot of free bar for patrons at one local establishment this season. UCF’s 0-12 disaster of a season was dealt a final blow by rival South Florida, who tuned up the Knights by a score of 44-3 Thursday night in Orlando. While UCF joined a list no school ever wants to be a part of, USF made sure the pressure will be on Temple to get by Connecticut Saturday afternoon. A loss by Tempel against the Huskies, who just toppled Houston last week, and it will be the Bulls who play for the American Athletic Conference championship next week at either Navy or Houston. The winner of the Navy-Houston game Friday will host the conference championship game.
USF ends its regular season having won four straight games, the last three coming in blowout fashion. After losing at Navy 29-17, USF rallied with a 22-17 victory at East Carolina and followed that up with a decisive 44-23 victory against Temple, a 65-27 thrashing of Cincinnati and last night’s 44-3 demolishing of UCF. Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers pass for three touchdowns and rushed for two more. USF outgained UCF 455-203 and the defense forced two turnovers in the win. Because USF defeated Temple, the Bulls own a head-to-head tiebreaker that comes into play in the AAC East if Temple loses one more game for an identical conference record. A Temple win against UConn clinches the division for the Owls, who would also play on the road against either Navy or Houston.
UCF is the first winless team in the FBS since Miami Ohio and Georgia State in 2013. It is also the second time since 2000 UCF has gone through a full season without a win. The Knights also had losses pile up against them in 2004, when the Knights were part fo the MAC. UCF’s season saw head coach George O’Leary step down earlier in the season, so the program is now turning a page to find a new head coach. There is still some potential to build something at UCF. After all, this program was in and won the Fiesta Bowl just two seasons ago against Big 12 champion Baylor. The job should be an attractive one for a number of candidates as well.