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Bowl Games

2018 Camping World Bowl: Syracuse Pummels West Virginia 34-18



The Syracuse Orange defense sacked West Virginia quarterback Jack Allison (#17, white uniform) five times during the 2018 Camping World Bowl at Camping World Stadium Friday, December 28, 2018. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3 overall, 6-3 Big 12) and Syracuse Orange (9-3 overall, 6-2 ACC) faced off at Camping World Stadium Friday for this year’s Camping World Bowl. The Mountaineers came in leaning more strongly on their passing game and were down four offensive starters, while Orange came in with a run game advantage.



West Virginia started off strong in the first quarter by comparison. They started early with three plays and a three-yard gain while Syracuse had seven plays for an 11-yard loss, although Syracuse had one sack in comparison to West Virginia’s two. At 9:18 in the first, West Virginia safety Josh Norwood went down in visible pain, forcing a timeout.

With just less than seven minutes left in the first, the Mountaineers were first on the board with a field goal from the 28-yard line, making the score 3-0.

Syracuse answered on their next drive. Wide receiver Jamal Custis brought Syracuse into the red zone with a 44-yard catch from Dungey. Two plays later, Syracuse finished the job with a four-yard rush by Andre Szmyt for the first touchdown of the game, making the score 7-3.

Early in the second quarter West Virginia’s Kennedy McKoy scrambled for three yards for their touchdown, putting them in the lead with a 9-7 score. Syracuse reclaimed the lead nearly halfway through the second quarter with another touchdown, and unlike West Virginia, they made their extra point, making the score 14-9. West Virginia answered and closed out scoring in the first half with Evan Staley’s 36-yard field goal, making the score 14-12 at halftime.



Third quarter was field goal city: all three scores in the third were field goals. Staley struck early with a 44-yard field goal, Syracuse’s Szmyt answered with a 39-yard field goal, and Staley returned with a 49-yard field goal. By the end of the third, West Virginia led by one point, 18-17.

Syracuse’s Eric Dungey was 8 for 9 in passing for a total of 108 yards in comparison to West Virginia’s Jack Allison’s 5 for 8 for 91 yards. Third down conversions were 50% and 60%, respectively. The rushing game was limited for both teams, with Syracuse only running for a total of 30 yards and West Virginia only rushing for 12 yards.

Syracuse rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter, and kept West Virginia from ever scoring again for the rest of the game. The Orange scored two touchdowns with a field goal in between.

The first touchdown came within seconds with Dungey’s 14-yard pass to Trishton Jackson. On West Virginia’s next drive, Syracuse’s Allen Stritzinger intercepted Allison’s pass and returned the ball 20 yards. While the Mountaineers defense limited the Orange’s passing game during the drive, Szmyt was able to nail the 34-yard field goal at 12:55 left in the game, making the score 27-18 at that point. Syracuse’s Jarveon Howard scrambled for four yards for their next touchdown after a successful 42-yard pass to Moe Neal, making the score 34-18 with ten minutes left in the game.

“Disappointing loss, disappointing end of the season, but I’m proud of our guys. We fought. We tried. You know, that’s all. I can ask for out of these guys. They laced it up and they tried, you know. Just came up a little bit short.” – West Virginia Mountaineers Head Coach Dana Holgorsen

The scoring ended there, but the Orange was able to net two sacks on Allison in the quarter.

“It was a fabulous game. Can’t say enough about Dana and his crew, West Virginia. It was a hard fought battle. It was extremely physical as well. I thought that the officials did a decent job out there. Couldn’t be more proud of the 2018 seniors to end in this fashion against a rival opponent that goes so far back in our history. And to win the type of game that we won, it wasn’t like those other games that we have been watching for the last two days on TV.

“It was one of those games, it was a good battle. Can’t say enough about the Camping World Bowl and the way they’ve treated us here, and the trophy is really, really heavy and I’m glad we got it.” -Syracuse Orange Head Coach Dino Babers

In the end, the teams’ scoring were four and four: Syracuse had 4 touchdowns and two field goals while West Virginia had four field goals and one touchdown.


Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. |


Bowl Games

UCF Knights Win Gasparilla Bowl “Treasure Chest” After Dominating Marshall University Thundering Herd 48-25



UCF Knights land a touchdown against Marshall University's Herd during the 2019 Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on December 23, 2019. Photo by Megan Turner/

Credit: ESPN


TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – In a game riddled with penalties and turnovers, UCF hit the ground running and stayed on top.

First Half Summary

Rain impacted the first half of the game

The UCF Knights (AAC) arrived ready to dominate over the Thundering Herd of Marshall University (C-USA) despite grey skies and steady rain during the first half of the game. The Knights quickly took advantage of the Herd with Grant intercepting a pass thrown by Marshall’s quarterback Isaiah Green at their 39 and running the ball into the end zone for a UCF touchdown in the first 56 seconds of the game. Extra point by placekicker (PK) Dylan Barnas was good for a score of 7-0, UCF.

UCF’s momentum continued throughout the quarter with Gabriel completing two passes, gaining a first down by McCrae. UCF received a penalty for a false start and lost control of the ball with a sack and incomplete pass. Marshall’s Green threw two incomplete passes and fumbled the ball at the UCF 32-yard line. UCF’s Jean-Baptist recovered and gained possession of the ball at UCF’s 35-yard line and scored a 26-yard touchdown by McCrea with Barnas kicking the extra point. Score: 14-0 (UCF) with 9:12 left in the quarter.

UCF gained another opportunity to pick up a ball fumbled by Marshall (Keaton), which Morris-Brash recovered and completed a 55-yard touchdown run with 7:00 left on the clock and another good kick by Barnas for a total score of 21-0.

The second quarter produced fewer points and a continuation of tension between the teams with a second penalty on UCF for unsportsmanlike conduct. UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. attempted several passes, many of which were incomplete. With the clock at 12:28, Marshall’s Abraham intercepted the ball at Marshall’s 25-yard line and responded with a 75-yard return for the Herd’s first touchdown. Score: 21-7. UCF’s Barnas attempted and scored a field gold from the 36-yard line at the end of the half (clock: 0:00). By halftime, both teams were charged with off-setting penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Halftime Score: 24 – 7 UCF


Second half Summary

Rain ends but the penalties continue:

At the start of the second half, tensions continued and both teams received an offsetting penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. UCF scored a touchdown and extra point with 12:50 left in the third quarter. The current score is 31-7 UCF.

Marshall responded with a second touchdown (31-14 UCF) with 9:33 left. The Knights scored again (38-14 UCF) with 7:10 left in the third. Both teams were again penalized with unsportsmanlike conduct, which was off-set. Marshall’s defensive lineman Darius Hodge was charged with his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and as a result, was ejected from the game.

With 6:51 on the clock, Marshall’s Green completed a 70-yard pass to Johnson to the UCF 0 for a first down and the pass attempt was good for a touchdown (current score 38-22 UCF). UCF responded again with a 75-yard screen pass by Gabriel to Williams for a touchdown with 6:39 left in the quarter (45-22 UCF).

Marshall’s Rohrwasser gained a final field goal from 50-yard line with 1:08 left in the third quarter. At the end of the third, the score was UCF 45 – Marshall 25

The fourth quarter was less dramatic with fewer scores and no additional penalties. The Knights’ Barnas picked up the final points in the game with a 30-yard field goal with 4:59 left in the game.

UCF receiving Treasure Chest after winning the Gasparilla Bowl 12/23/19. Photo Credit: Sara-Beth Colón Jeffrey


The final score in the 2019 Gasparilla Bowl: UCF 48 – Marshall 25


Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey is an Associate Editor for Florida National News. |

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Black lives

Terrell Davis, Darrell Green, Bruce Smith, Michael Vick Named 2020 Pro Bowl Legends Captains



Pro Football Hall of Famers Davis, Green, Smith and Vick will take the NFL Pro Bowl lead in Orlando in 2020. Image: NFL

NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: NFL // Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRELL DAVIS, DARRELL GREEN and BRUCE SMITH, and NFL Legend MICHAEL VICK, will serve as 2020 Pro Bowl Legends Captains. The Pro Bowl will feature a match-up between the AFC and NFC, with each conference led by two Legends Captains – one offensive and one defensive.

Davis (offense) and Smith (defense) will lead the AFC, while Vick (offense) and Green (defense) will lead the NFC. The four Legends Captains, who were collectively selected to 25 Pro Bowls, will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players and be present on the sidelines on gameday. The captains will additionally attend various events throughout Pro Bowl Week in Orlando.

The 2020 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon, which kicks off at 3:00 PM ET, will be televised live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC and Disney XD – the third time the game will be available on both broadcast and cable networks.

Now is your chance to get access to awesome. Tickets to the game are on sale at and start at just $45. Fans in attendance can watch and cheer on the Pro Bowl players as they enter the stadium on the Pro Bowl Red Carpet, bringing them closer than ever to the NFL’s all-stars. Concession deals and “Kid Zone” activities will be available inside the stadium. Additionally, fans will be able to enjoy post-game fireworks to conclude the celebration.

TERRELL DAVIS: Running back Terrell Davis was selected in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos out of the University of Georgia. As a rookie in 1995, he rushed for more than 1,100 yards and had a career-high 49 receptions. The following season, the San Diego native was named Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns and would later become just the fourth player in league history to rush for more than 2,000 yards (2,008) in a single season in 1998. Davis helped the Denver Broncos capture back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998, and earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXII after rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. A three-time All-Pro selection, Davis was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

DARRELL GREEN: Cornerback Darrell Green was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. During his 20-year NFL career, Green recorded an interception in 19 consecutive seasons – the longest such streak in league history. In total, Green had 54 interceptions and six touchdowns, while averaging nearly 12 yards per punt return. The Houston native appeared in four NFC Championship Games and three Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls XXII and XXVI. He earned All-Pro honors in 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991, was voted to seven Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. In 1996, he was named the NFL Man of the Year. In October of 2015, Darrell Green was named the fastest player in the NFL on NFL’s Top 10 Fastest Players, which aired on NFL Network. Green was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

BRUCE SMITH: Defensive lineman Bruce Smith was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the first overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft. During his 19-year NFL career, Smith recorded 200 sacks – the most of any player since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982 – and had at least 10 sacks in 13 seasons – also the most since 1982. Smith, an 11-time Pro Bowler, also accumulated 78 more tackles than any other defensive lineman in league history. Smith was named the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1985 and would go on to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1996, while being named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1996. He earned first-team All-Pro honors nine times and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s. Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

MICHAEL VICK: Quarterback Michael Vick was selected with the first overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft. Vick would become Atlanta’s starting quarterback in 2002, leading the Falcons to a playoff berth with nearly 3,000 passing yards and more than 750 rushing yards. Two seasons later, Vick led Atlanta to an 11-5 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game against Philadelphia. In 2006, the Newport News, Va. native became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season when he had 1,039 rushing yards. Vick set career highs with 21 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns in 2010, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a playoff berth. During his 13-year NFL career, Vick was named to four Pro Bowls and became the only quarterback to have at least 20,000 career passing yards (22,464) and 5,000 rushing yards (6,109) in NFL history.

For the fourth consecutive year, Pro Bowl Week festivities will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort and across the Orlando area, bringing free experiences and activities to fans as well as an extraordinary number of events focused on commemorating all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. Some of the Pro Bowl Week events include: Pro Bowl Practices, Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, NFL FLAG Championships and Pro Bowl Experience.

​Additionally, NFL Pro Bowl players will give back to the local Orlando community by participating in the Pro Bowl Community Huddle as part of the NFL Huddle for 100. To learn more about Huddle for 100 and how to get involved, visit

More information about these and all of the events taking place during Pro Bowl Week is available at

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Bowl Games

The Orlando Sports Foundation Announces Cure Bowl Venue Change



UCF Knights quarterback McKenzie Milton (#10) dodges a tackle as he rushes the ball during the 2016 AutoNation Cure Bowl. Photo: Orlando Sports Foundation.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Orlando Sports Foundation // The Orlando Sports Foundation announced at a press conference Wednesday that the 2019 Cure Bowl will be played at Orlando City Stadium.

The Cure Bowl will be the first non-soccer sporting event to take place at Orlando City Stadium, since its opening in March 2017. Kickoff for the fifth-annual Cure Bowl will be December 21, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

“We are excited about the Orlando Sports Foundation’s partnership with Orlando City Stadium and the unique atmosphere that will be created for the Cure Bowl,” CEO of the Orlando Sports Foundation and Executive Director of the Cure Bowl Alan Gooch stated. “I can’t wait to see a college football game in Orlando City Stadium. We believe all fans will have a great experience and this will help us to continue our mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer.”

Orlando City Stadium located in the heart downtown Orlando is home to the Orlando City Soccer Club of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The state-of-the-art venue is within walking distance of the historic Church Street Entertainment District.

“We are very excited to welcome the Cure Bowl to Orlando City Stadium as the first non-soccer sporting event to be hosted in our beautiful venue,” Orlando City SC Chief Revenue Officer Chris Gallagher said. “Through flagship events like the Cure Bowl, the Orlando Sports Foundation works tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research, and we are happy to do what we can to support such a meaningful initiative. We can’t wait to see a new kind of football on our pitch this December.”

In its first four years, the Cure Bowl has been used as a platform to raise $3.6 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Orlando community has benefited from the funds generated at the game with local BCRF researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine receiving over $1.1 million of the funds distributed.

“The move allows us to add a gameday block party which will start at Church Street and conclude with a March 2 Cure to Orlando City Stadium,” Gooch added. “These events will help drive revenue to Downtown Orlando business owners, while enhancing the experience of Cure Bowl attendees on gameday.”

The March 2 Cure will be a free, pre-game event featuring music, entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. The event will culminate with an organized walk from the Church Street Entertainment District to the game at Orlando City Stadium. Each team playing in the Cure Bowl will have their band participate in the march alongside fans, cancer survivors and supporters decked out in pink gear.

The Orlando Sports Foundation will host an open house on May 8 from 5-7 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium to celebrate our new home. This community event will allow Orlando Sports Foundation members, fans and the general public to tour the facility, pose for photos and view seat options for the Cure Bowl on Saturday, December 21.

The Cure Bowl features a matchup between teams from the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference. There is also a secondary tie-in with independent Liberty University. The annual postseason college bowl game was played the previous four seasons at Camping World Stadium. For more information about the Orlando Sports Foundation or the Cure Bowl and affiliated events visit

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