Kalamazoo, Mich. — Nathan Rourke threw three touchdown passes, rushed for two scores and Ohio used six turnovers to ease past Western Michigan 59-14 on Thursday night.
Ohio led 45-0 at halftime after Western Michigan turned it over five times. Rourke scored on a 6-yard sneak and he found Papi White in the back of the end zone less than three minutes later. DL Knock blocked a punt and Alvin Floyd returned it 13 yards for a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Jarren Hampton’s interception led to Rourke’s 13-yard rush for a 28-0 lead. Western Michigan fumbled it on its next two possessions, leading to a field goal and Rourke’s 8-yard TD pass to Adam Luehrman. After Western Michigan’s four-and-out, Rourke passed it to Isiah Cox for a 10-yard score with 47 seconds left in the half.
Rourke was 12-of-14 passing for 149 yards and he carried it nine times for 68 yards for Ohio (6-3, 4-1 Mid-American Conference), which is bowl eligible for the 10th straight season.
Western Michigan (6-4, 4-2) was held to 119 yards in the first half, with four fumbles and an interception.
No. 9 UCF 52, Temple 40: McKenzie Milton threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns to help UCF extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games.
Taj McGowan scored on runs of 1 and 10 yards, the latter finishing a long drive that put the Knights (8-0, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) up by nine points after Temple (5-4, 4-1) nearly rallied to tie it.
Milton, returning to the lineup after missing a game with an undisclosed injury, finished 17 of 33 with one interception. Dredrick Snelson scored on a 19-yard reception and Michael Colubiale had TD catches of 9 and 19 yards to ensure the Knights gained sole possession of first place in the AAC East Division.
Anthony Russo completed 31 of 52 passes for 444 yards and four touchdowns for Temple, which had a three-game winning streak snapped despite gaining 670 yards on a night the teams combined to gain over 1,300 yards.
Ventell Bryant scored on receptions of 15 and 8 yards for the Owls. Russo also threw to Branden Mack and Randle Jones while building a 34-28 halftime that lasted less than a minute into the third quarter.
UCF took a 42-34 lead into the fourth quarter and stopped a potential tying two-point conversion before pulling away for good.
In addition to staying on top of the East Division standings, UCF remained on course to be part of the discussion about which teams deserve to be part of the College Football Playoff in December.
The Knights, denied a spot in the four-team playoff field a year ago despite finishing as the only undefeated team in the FBS, were 12th in the initial CFP rankings released this week.
The chairman of the University System of Maryland board of regents has resigned following the furor over the decision to reinstate football coach DJ Durkin.
The board’s decision to reinstate Durkin on Tuesday drew harsh criticism from students, players and state politicians. As a result, University President Wallace Loh fired Durkin on Wednesday.
On Thursday, board chairman James Brady stepped down from his post.
“In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward,” Brady said in a statement. “And I have no interest in serving as a distraction from that important work.”
After reviewing external reports on the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and the culture of the program, the board decided to reinstate Durkin and retain athletic director Damon Evans.
McNair collapsed on the practice field and died two weeks later of heatstroke. Durkin was put on administrative leave in August and, following the board’s recommendation, returned for one day.
“I understand that reasonable people could come to other conclusions,” Brady said. “And even among our board, some did.”
The backlash from the decision was overwhelming.
“I respect the many people — including elected leaders, members of the public and members of the board — who disagreed with the recommendations a majority of this board ultimately made,” Brady said. “These were difficult decisions, based on information included in reports stemming from two investigations and a great deal of thought and deliberation.”
During the news conference announcing Durkin’s reinstatement, Loh said he would retire in June 2019, a surprise development.
Earlier Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan said he intended to investigate the board’s decision to bring back Durkin after next week’s gubernatorial election.
UConn ruling overturned
A Connecticut Superior Court judge has ruled that UConn did not violate the state’s ban on nepotism when it hired football coach Randy Edsall’s son as an assistant coach.
Judge Trial Referee Joseph Shortall on Thursday vacated the state Citizen Ethics Advisory Board’s ruling that would have forced Corey Edsall to leave his job when his contract expires in January.
Shortall says Randy Edsall was not yet a state employee when he negotiated for his son to be hired as tight ends coach. The judge says the board made a mistake by determining that the head coach was hired on Dec. 28, 2016, finding that Edsall wasn’t a state employee until Jan. 3, 2018.
Katie Hnida, a former University of New Mexico kicker who was the first female to play and score in a Division I football game, faces months of recovery after becoming seriously ill from an adverse reaction to a prescribed medicine.
... Mississippi won part of its appeal of NCAA sanctions against the football program, with a committee overturning the penalty restricting the school from hosting unofficial recruiting visits.