Decision on Army-BC game expected by noon Thurs.

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With the government shutdown in the midst of its second day, the fate of a pair of college football games remains in limbo.

Yesterday, the Department of Defense “suspended all intercollegiate competitions at the nation’s service academies,” meaning the Air Force-Navy game in Annapolis and Army-Boston College game in Chestnut Hill have, for all intents and purposes, been canceled.  While all sides — well, except for the politicians who created the mess in the first place — are attempting to come up with a resolution that would allow the games to go off as planned, pessimism is quickly gaining on optimism.

In a statement released by BC athletic director Brad Bates late Wednesday morning, it’s readily apparent that the financial ramifications brought on by the shutdown are not the be-all, end-all of the situation.

“We have been considering and engaging all possibilities in order to play Saturday’s football game, including offering financial assistance to Army for travel,” Bates’ statement read. “We have been told by officials at the US Military Academy, however, that this is not solely a financial decision.”

What Bates is referring to is what his counterpart at Navy alluded to Tuesday: perception.

It’s a perception thing. Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down,” Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said according to the Capital Gazette.

Of course, a pair of meaningless football games pale in comparison to hundreds of thousands of federal workers losing their paychecks for X amount of days/weeks.  Then again, Navy’s athletic department stands to lose in excess of $4 million if this weekend’s game is cancelled, so the shutdown would hit the academy’s non-revenue sports as well — especially if the shutdown pushes deeper into the month and costs the school(s) additional home-game revenue.

Regardless, a final decision on whether or not either of the two games involving the three service academies will be played is expected to come no later than noon ET on Thursday.

McKenzie Milton’s six-touchdown night powers No. 16 UCF past FAU

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The longest active winning streak in FBS was extended to 16 straight games by No. 16 UCF (3-0) Friday night in Orlando. McKenzie Milton accounted for six touchdowns as UCF topped FAU, 56-36, in a battle of the defending AAC and Conference USA champions.

UCF started off on a quick foot with two touchdowns on their first two offensive series in the game, building a 14-0 lead before FAU could find any offense to work with. After the Owls strung together 17-straight points, Milton drive UCF down the field in the final 90 seconds for a go-ahead touchdown and UCF never really had to look back from there. UCF scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 42-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

Milton had himself another big game. Milton passed for 306 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 81 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. UCF piled up 546 yards of offense and converted seven of 11 third down plays for a first down.

FAU got a productive night from their offensive star, Devin Singletary. The running back rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns and was a difference-maker that provided a much-needed spark in the first half. But UCF was too much for FAU to handle over four quarters. FAU turned the football over twice, including on the game’s opening possession when Chris Robison was picked off. A second interception late in the third quarter stalled a promising looking drive as well.

Having played three games, UCF continues to look like the best Group of Five team in the race for a spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup. No Group of Five school has made back-to-back trips to the New Years Six under the College Football Playoff format, but UCF has shown no reason to suggest they are incapable of becoming the first. With Boise State losing last week and the AAC piling up some good wins as a conference (helping to out-weigh a few bad losses), the AAC looks to be putting itself in solid position to send its champion to a big bowl game at the end of the year. UCF’s biggest competition will come in conference games later on, including matchups with schools like Memphis and South Florida, but having a head-to-head win against a possible Group of Five conference champion is nice to have in the pocket later on.

FAU’s search for a win against a top 25 team will continue to drag on. With the loss, the Owls fell to 0-20 all-time against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.

UCF will stay home next week for its first and only game against a power conference opponent this season. The Knights will host the Pitt Panthers. UCF had a game against North Carolina canceled due to Hurricane Florence last week and had a game against Georgia Tech wiped out last season so the opportunity to finally play an ACC opponent will be welcomed by the Knights.

FAU will begin the quest to defend their Conference USA championship from last year next week by opening conference play on the road against Middle Tennessee State. Middle Tennessee is off this week after losing at Georgia last week. A bye week before a home game against the Owls is favorable, although FAU is still likely to be the favorite next week and in Conference USA.

UCF starts fast and wakes up from slumber to take halftime lead on FAU

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Expected to be one of the top Group of Five matchups of the season, UCF and FAU have not disappointed so far Friday night. After UCF jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the visiting Owls, Devin Singletary provided a charge to help FAU take a 17-14 lead in the final two minutes of the first half in Orlando, but McKenzie Milton drove the Knights right down the field on a late possession to re-take a 21-17 lead.

UCF opened the game on a solid foot with the defense ending FAU’s game-opening drive on an interception by linebacker Pat Jasinski. Just a few plays later, McKenzie Milton kept the ball himself and ran untouched for a touchdown to the right side.

UCF extended their lead to 14-0 with a 10-play, 92-yard drive in under three minutes on their next possession. Milton ended the drive with a touchdown strike to Dredrick Snelson. After exchanging three-and-out possessions, FAU finally got something working for them on offense after taking advantage of a well-run fake punt to keep a drive alive.

A face mask penalty on UCF helped FAU continue to move downfield a few plays later and Singletary broke off a would-be-tackler and took off up the middle 11 yards for a touchdown for FAU’s first points of the game.

FAU kept things going in their favor with another quick three-and-out against the UCF offense. Singletary then scored his second touchdown of the half to draw the game even at 14-14 with five minutes gone in the second quarter. FAU took its first lead of the night with a field goal by Vladimir Rivas in the final two minutes.

The lead lasted all of one minute and three seconds. Milton answered with a lightning-fast 78-yard touchdown drive by completing passes four of five plays, ending the drive with a touchdown pass to Marlon Williams.

UCF offensive lineman Wyatt Miller left the game with an undisclosed injury in the first half. His status is unknown, but he has not returned to the game.

Investigation details timeline of how Maryland trainers inadequately treated Jordan McNair

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The findings from an independent report into the handling of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has been released, and the report puts blame for the death of McNair on the athletic trainers who were on-hand.

“There was a failure to identify symptoms and aggressively treat it,” sports medicine consultant Dr. Rod Walters stated while addressing the report’s findings.

Although it was confirmed that doing so would have significantly improved the chances of successfully treating McNair, McNair was not placed in an ice bath while experiencing symptoms of heat stroke because an athletic trainer was concerned about his size. On top of that, there was a 34-minute delay in getting McNair off the practice field at the first sign of his symptoms and it took a total of one hour and 39 minutes before McNair was taken away in an ambulance for further medical attention.

The report details why cold water tanks were not available either, stating that the cold water tanks that were available at the time of the practice were inadequate.

Board of Regents Chair Jim Brandy denied saying whether or not this investigation was a display of negligence within the football program, but said he would like to gather more facts before saying whether or not that would be the case.

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin was confirmed to have been on the scene at the time of the heat-induced trauma, but there was no decision made on his fate on the basis of this report by the Maryland Board of Regents. However, Durkin will remain on administrative leave until the second investigation into the Maryland football program concludes. A second investigation has been ongoing regarding the accusations of being a football program with a so-called toxic culture. There is no timeline for when that investigation will wrap up, nor is there any suggestion as to when a decision on Durkin’s future with the program will ultimately be determined.

Ex-Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood’s show-cause has expired

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Anyone in the market for a former college football head coach? Kyle Flood is now officially available.

The former Rutgers head coach was slapped with a one-year show-cause penalty as part of the fallout of the scandal that led to Flood’s firing at Rutgers that also cost Julie Hermann her position as the athletic director. Flood was essentially prevented from coaching in college for a year after initially serving a three-game suspension for his conduct in contacting university professors about eligibility concerns for a football player.

Accusations of covering up drug use by players also came under scrutiny by the NCAA as well as the program’s student-ambassador program. Now that the show-cause penalty is served, Flood can now be hired by any college football program without the threat of being punished by the NCAA.

Flood has spent the past year as an offensive line coach with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Flood was 27-24 in four seasons at Rutgers from 2012 through 2015. Former Rutgers defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson also had his show-cause expire. Whether or not he returns to college football is anyone’s guess at this point, but he is now available for hire.

Rutgers is still on probation by the NCAA for another year. The probation expires on September 21, 2019, according to NJ.com.