Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, December 3, 2018

After Steamrolling USF, #8 UCF Wins Conference Championship against Memphis, Will Face LSU in Fiesta Bowl 1/1/19

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:42

 

After crushing rival USF and losing their powerful leader in quarterback McKenzie Milton to a horrendous injury, the UCF Knights (12-0; 8-0 AAC) came back from a 17-point deficit at the half to defeat the AAC West Division Champion Memphis Tigers (8-5; 5-3 AAC) under the gun of quarterback Darrial Mack. Mack shrugged off two early turnovers to rush for three second-half touchdowns and rally No. 7 UCF to a 56-41 victory over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship game Saturday. With the red-shirt freshman filling in for injured quarterback McKenzie Milton, the Knights (12-0, No. 8 CFP) won their second-straight league title and extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 25 games. Mack also threw for 348 yards and two TDs without an interceptions to keep UCF, the only FBS team to finish undefeated a year ago, in the conversation about who’s deserving of consideration for berths in the College Football Playoff.

Greg McCrae rushed for 206 yards and one TD for the Knights, who beat the Tigers 62-55 in the 2017 AAC title game and rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to win 31-30 at Memphis during the regular season. This time, UCF trailed 38-21 at halftime before scoring touchdowns on five-straight possessions in the second half. Darrell Henderson scored on runs of 62, 12 and 82 yards and also throw a 4-yard TD pass to help Memphis (8-5) build its big halftime lead. But the nation’s second-leading rusher only gained 3 yards on six carries in the second half, finishing with 210 yards on 16 carries. Mack lost two first-quarter fumbles, setting up Henderson’s second touchdown and a field goal. The red-shirt freshman also fumbled into the end zone from inside the Memphis 1, however teammate Michael Colubiale recovered for a UCF touchdown in the second quarter.

Brady White was effective throwing the ball for Memphis until UCF finally stopped Henderson and Patrick Taylor, who scored on a 70-yard run and finished with 118 rushing, from running wild. The Tigers are winners of four of last five games and will face Wake Forrest in the Birmingham Bowl while the Knights will take a spot in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, a coveted New Year’s Six Bowl. UCF enters the postseason unbeaten for the second straight year, and as the winners of their second straight American Athletic Conference Championship and were chosen by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to face LSU on New Year’s Day in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

UCF’s selection to a New Year’s Six bowl highlights a group of seven American Athletic Conference schools that will play in bowl games. UCF’s appearance in the Fiesta Bowl marks the Knights’ third appearance in the top New Year’s bowls since 2013 and the American Athletic Conference’s fourth New Year’s bowl bid since the formation of the conference. Teams from The American are 3-0 in previous New Year’s Bowls. UCF was a 52-42 winner against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl to cap the 2013 season, while Houston defeated Florida State 38-24 in the 2015 Peach Bowl before UCF took a 34-27 win against Auburn in last year’s Peach Bowl.

UCF was ranked No. 8 in the final College Football Playoff rankings of the season, the highest final ranking for an American Athletic Conference team in the five-year history of the CFP. The Knights are ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press and Amway Coaches’ polls and will face an LSU team that is 9-3 and ranked No. 11 across the board. It will be the first meeting between the schools. Watch highlights of UCF’s victory in the AAC Conference Championship Game, courtesy of the American Athletic Association Digital Network, below:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Dr. Blackwell Selected In Top 10 Nurse Practitioners in the United States

Filed under: National and International News — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:43

Dr. Christopher Blackwell, APRN, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, CNE, FAANP was selected by Point of Care Network as one of the nation’s top-10 nurse practitioners for 2018. Dr. Blackwell was selected in the category of Clinical Practice and Consultation. Congratulations to all the NPs who were selected as the top 10 in the United States! Check out all of the winners here: 2018’s Top 10 NPs in the United States

#9 Knights Shine on ESPN College GameDay, Whoop Cincy, Clench Division and Host Conference Championship Game; Face Rival USF Next

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:29

 McKenzie Milton threw for 268 yards and accounted for four touchdowns to help No. 11 UCF remain unbeaten and extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 23 games with a 38-13 win against No. 19 Cincinnati on Saturday night. The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, passed for three TDs without an interception and scored on a 3-yard run as the Knights (10-0, 7-0) clinched the American Athletic Conference East Division title and a spot in the league’s championship game. Milton rebounded from losing a fumble Cincinnati recovered in the end zone for a touchdown on UCF’s first offensive play to complete 13 of 25 passes, including TDs of 17 yards and 42 yards to Adrian Killins and 36 yards to Tre Nixon.

Malik Clements’ goal-line sack and Kimoni Fitz’s fumble recovery gave the Bearcats (9-2, 5-2) the early lead, but Cincinnati didn’t get in the end zone offensively until Tavion Thomas scored on a 1-yard run nearly six minutes into the fourth quarter. The first sign it might not be Cincinnati’s night came when Cole Smith the missed the extra point after Fitz’s TD. Even though the Bearcats eventually finished with 379 yards total offense to UCF’s 402, the team’s struggles were compounded when Smith missed a 38-yard field goal and then had 41-yarder blocked and returned 53 yards to set up the first of Milton’s two TD passes to Killins.

The Bearcats also wasted an opportunity to trim a 21-6 deficit when UCF’s Titus Davis sacked Desmond Ridder, forcing a fumble after Cincinnati drove inside the Knights 20 in the final minute of the opening half. The primetime matchup capped a day in which Orlando became the epicenter of college football, with ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcasting from the UCF campus for the first time and giving the Knights the type of national exposure they’ve craved for much of their winning streak.

The Bearcats are back in the national spotlight after only winning four games a year ago in their first season under coach Luke Fickell. They were beaten  Saturday night. Still, the future appears bright, considering they have an underclassman-laden roster that includes 35 true freshmen. Milton has thrown for at least one touchdown in 23 consecutive games. The Knights have also scored at least 30 points in every game throughout their school- and conference-record winning streak. UCF also learned Tuesday they’ve earned the #9 ranking in the College Football Playoff rankings, the highest ever for a G5 conference team.  They’ll go for their second straight undefeated regular season next week against intrastate rival USF. The Black Friday kickoff for the UCF vs USF game is set for 3:30pm and the game will be nationally-broadcasted on ESPN. Catch highlights of UCF’s win over Cincy below, courtesy of the American Athletics Conference Digital Network:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

UCF Defeats Navy, Moves to #11, Hosts ESPN College GameDay on Saturday, Faces #20 Cincy in Primetime

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:26

The UCF Knights (9-0; 6-0 AAC) defeated the Navy Shipment on Saturday in a sold-out Homecoming crowd last Saturday. McKenzie Milton threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, helping No. 11 UCF extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 22 games with a 35-24 victory over Navy on Saturday. Milton completed 17 of 21 passes without an interception, and the Knights (9-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) remained one of four unbeaten teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, along with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Dredrick Snelson scored on receptions of 34 and 12 yards for UCF, which stayed atop the AAC East Division standings and on course to be part of the discussion about which teams are worthy of berths in the College Football Playoff. The Knights are 11th in the latest CFP rankings. The Midshipmen, coming off a 42-0 road loss to Cincinnati, have lost seven straight games, although they did rush for 374 yards Saturday after being limited to a season-low 124 on the ground the previous week.

Zach Abey scored on runs of 5 and 8 yards, finishing with a team-best 85 yards rushing on 26 carries for Navy. Tre Walker ran for 82 yards on seven attempts, and Mike Martin ran for 51 and a fourth-quarter TD for Navy, which only threw the ball twice. The Midshipmen finished a three-week stretch in which they lost to Notre Dame, Cincinnati and UCF, who were a combined 25-1 entering Saturday.

Their chances of slowing UCF’s potent offense hinged on getting its own running game going and dominating time of possession to keep Milton off the field. Milton was sharp in his second game since sitting out a road win over ECU with an undisclosed injury. The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, hit 10 of his first 11 passes for 106 yards, completing throws to seven different receivers. He has at least one TD pass in 22 consecutive games.

After the win, it was announced  UCF would play the #20 Cincinnati Bearcats (9-1; Saturday at 8pm on ABC, earning the coveted primetime slot for the week. The Knights also learned Monday they would be hosting ESPN’s College GameDay for their first time in history on Saturday, setting the campus into a frenzied excitement. That broadcast begins at 9:00am and will give UCF an amazing opportunity to showcase its brand to a major national audience. Watch highlights from UCF’s victory over Navy below, courtesy of the American Athletics Conference Digital Network:

 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

#9 UCF Knights Overcome Tough Battle Against Temple for 21st Straight Victory

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:08

The UCF Knights (8-0; 5-0 AAC) overcame a formidable foe in the Owls of Temple (5-4; 4-1 AAC) Thursday night in-front of a loud and spirited crowd at Spectrum Stadium to clench their 21st straight victory. The game was broadcasted live on ESPN and drew the highest Thursday night rankings since the season kickoff game:

McKenzie Milton threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 9 UCF hold off Temple 52-40 and extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games Thursday night. 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. In the first half alone, the teams combined for 808 yards — 510 passing and 298 rushing — with Russo throwing for 277 and three TDs and Milton countering with 233 yards and two TDs. Both quarterbacks had a rushing TD in the second quarter, Russo scoring on a 5-yard run on a fake field goal play.

The Owls are 5-2 since Russo took over at quarterback following losses to Villanova and Buffalo to begin the season. Armstead returned from missing two games with an ankle injury, immediately making his presence felt with a 33-yard burst on the first play from scrimmage. The senior running back finished with 142 yards on 27 carries. Milton had another big night, however the Knights kept the nation’s longest winning streak alive by running for 318 yards and doing a good job defensively of keeping Temple out of the end zone in the second half.

Check out highlights of the game below, courtesy of the American Athletics Conference Digital Network:

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

UCF Knights Ranked #12 in CFP, Ready for Temple After Bye

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 22:55

The UCF Knights (7-0; 4-0 AAC) took a week off after their 37-10 drubbing of East Carolina (2-5; 0-4 AAC) on October 20th to get some much needed rest and relaxation. Darriel Mack Jr. stepped in for Heisman Trophy hopeful McKenzie Milton and rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown, and UCF forced five turnovers in beating ECU 37-10 for its 20th straight victory. Nate Evans returned a fumble 94 yards for a momentum-changing touchdown with 10:07 left, Greg McCrae added a 74-yard TD run and the Knights turned all those takeaways into 24 points.

UCF — which was outgained 496-427 — went up 20-3 by scoring on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter, then made it a full-fledged rout with those late big plays. Receiver Quadry Jones threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Killins on a trick play, and Matthew Wright kicked three field goals for the Knights. With Milton sitting this one out while in full uniform from the sideline, Mack was 12 of 20 for 69 yards but was more dangerous with his legs, rushing 7 yards for an early touchdown.

Freshman Holton Ahlers was 29 of 53 for 406 yards with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Trevon Brown, and added 69 yards rushing in his first start. But his fumble while attempting a jump pass inside the 5-yard line was returned by Evans for the game-sealing score. The Pirates have lost three straight and four of five. Jake Verity put ECU up 3-0 midway through the first with a 34-yard field goal. ECU was on the verge of making this a one-score game with 10 minutes left before Evans’ fumble return.

UCF also learned Tuesday they are ranked #12 in the first set of rankings released by the College Football Playoff Committee as they make final preparations for their big Thursday night home game against the Temple Owls (5-3; 4-0 AAC). Kickoff for that matchup is set for 7:30pm; and the game will be nationally-televised on ESPN. Watch highlights from UCF’s 37-10 victory over ECU, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference Digital Network below:

Monday, October 15, 2018

#9 Knights Defeat Memphis Tigers in Nail-Biter

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:22

  The UCF Knights continued the nation’s longest wing streak (to 19 straight wins!) Saturday at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, TN by beating the Memphis Tigers 31-30 in an ABC nationally-televised contest. McKenzie Milton threw for 296 yards and ran for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as No. 10/9 UCF weathered its first significant test of the season before escaping with a 31-30 victory over Memphis on Saturday.

Milton’s 7-yard touchdown with 12:14 left completed a comeback for the Knights (6-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference), who trailed 30-14 with 2:04 left in the first half. The victory was UCF’s 19th straight — the nation’s longest winning streak — but it was by far the toughest game of the season for the Knights, who defeated their first five opponents by double-digits. Even in the closing seconds,

Memphis (4-3, 1-3) seemed on the way to at least have a chance for a game-winning field goal as the Tigers moved to the UCF 31. But Memphis was hit with a penalty that required a clock runoff, and then Brady White completed a 9-yard pass to Tony Pollard and the seconds slipped away. Darrell Henderson, who leads the nation in rushing, had 199 yards and a touchdown on the ground on a career-best 31 carries for Memphis. It was the first meeting since last year’s American Athletic Conference championship game, which UCF won 62-55 in double overtime.

Saturday’s momentum swing for the Knights, who struggled to contain Memphis in the early stages, came in the third quarter. With UCF facing fourth-and-1 at their 29, the Tigers bunched at the line of scrimmage and quickly ran a play. Taj McGowan burst through the initial defense and went 71 yards for a touchdown to cut the Memphis lead to 30-24. That set the stage for Milton’s winning score, capping a 74-yard drive. Milton, a Heisman Trophy candidate, led the Knights in a game where they struggled at times defensively. The go-ahead touchdown came as he was hit hurtling toward the goal line, barely making it to the end zone.

The Tigers looked like the team that many thought would return to The American championship game most of the way, but now have three conferences losses. Henderson, though, showed why he should be getting some Heisman hype. The Knights take on the Pirates of East Carolina (2-4; 0-3 AAC) on Saturday at 7:00pm on ESPN2. Check out video highlights of the Knights’ win against Memphis, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference Digital Network, below:

Sunday, October 7, 2018

#12 UCF Knights Dismantle SMU, Extend Win Streak to 18!

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:08

 

The UCF Knights (5-0; 2-0 AAC) dismantled the Mustangs of SMU (2-4; 1-1 AAC) 48-20 Saturday in-front of a energetic and loud crowd filling Spectrum Stadium:

McKenzie Milton threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 12 UCF extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games with a 48-20 victory over SMU on Saturday night. Adrian Killins rushed for 113 yards and a TD for the Knights (5-0, 2-0), one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the American Athletic Conference, along with Cincinnati and USF. Milton completed 18 of 34 passes with one interception after accounting for 12 touchdowns — seven passing and five rushing — in nonconference victories over Florida Atlantic and Pittsburgh the previous two weeks.

The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, tossed TD passes of 14 yards to Dredrick Snelson in the first quarter and 30 yards to Tre Nixon on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Knights also got two TD runs from Otis Anderson and one from Trysten Hill, a 315-pound defensive tackle who lined up as a fullback before plowing into the end zone on fourth-and-1. Ben Hicks came off the bench to replace freshman quarterback William Brown for SMU (2-4, 1-1). He threw a 5-yard TD pass to James Proche and finished 15 of 23 passing for 153 yards and zero interceptions. Proche had 12 receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs lost for the first time with Brown as their starting quarterback. The freshman, who led them to victories over Navy and Houston Baptist in his first two starts, completed 4 of 6 passes for 44 yards on the opening drive, setting up a 31-yard field goal. He attempted three more passes, all incompletions, before being replaced by Hicks in the second quarter with UCF leading 21-3. Brown returned in the fourth quarter and tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Proche with 36 seconds left to wind up 9 of 19 for 84 yards. Milton, eighth in Heisman Trophy balloting last season, has an abundance of playmakers around him. Nixon and Snelson both had six receptions and eight ball carriers, including Hill, contributed to the Knights rushing for 256 yards.

UCF heads to Memphis next Saturday to take on the Tigers (4-2; 1-2 AAC). Kickoff is set for 3:30pm and the game will be nationally-televised on ESPNU. Check out video highlights of UCF’s win over the SMU Mustangs, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference Digital Network below:

Saturday, September 29, 2018

UCF Destroys Pitt 45-14, Extends Win Streak to 17!

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:40

The UCF Knights (4-0; 1-0 AAC) dismantled the Panthers of Pittsburgh (2-3; 1-1 ACC) 45-14 in front of a sold out crowd at UCF’s Spectrum Stadium on Saturday, extending the nation’s longest win streak to 17!

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — McKenzie Milton threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns and No. 13 UCF extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with a 45-14 rout of Pittsburgh on Saturday. A week after accounting for six TDs in a lopsided victory over Florida Atlantic, Milton also ran for two scores to give the junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, seven TDs passing and five rushing in his past two games.

UCF (4-0) now moves into the heart of its American Athletic Conference schedule, hoping to go undefeated for the second straight year to play its way into consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Pitt (2-3) has had a knack for stunning teams with national title aspirations in recent seasons, however the Panthers were no match for a Milton-led offense that’s scored at least 30 points in every game during its school- and AAC-record winning streak.

Running back Adrian Killins, Jr., scored on a 71-yard reception, and Milton tossed TD passes of 24 yards to Gabriel Davis, 2 yards to Michael Colubiale and 13 yards to Otis Anderson. Pitt surprised eventual national champion Clemson on the road two years ago. The Panthers ended a disappointing 2017 season by defeating unbeaten Miami, which at the time had the longest winning streak in the country and was in contention for a CFP berth.

The Panthers scored on Maurice Ffrench’s 58-yard catch-and-run and Rafael Araujo-Lopes’ 86-yard punt return. Milton was 18 of 34 passing with no interceptions. Kenny Pickett was 16 of 26 for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Pitt, which was limited to 109 yards rushing.

One of the ways the Panthers had hoped to slow Milton was with an effective running game that helped them kept the UCF quarterback off the field for long stretches. That never materialized. The Knights ran 47 plays to Pitt’s 28 in the opening half, outgaining the Panthers 316 yards to 114, including 119-36 rushing.

Check out highlights from the game, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference Digital Network, below:

 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

UCF Knights Extend Win Streak to 16!, Beat FAU 56-36

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:09

The UCF Knights (3-0; 1-0 AAC) soundly defeated the Owls of FAU (2-2; 0-0 C-USA) Friday night in front of a near-capacity and rowdy Spectrum Stadium and national audience:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — McKenzie Milton ran for a career-best three touchdowns while throwing for three more, helping No. 16 UCF extend the nation’s longest winning streak with a 56-36 rout of Florida Atlantic on Friday night.

The junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, completed 21 of 32 passes for 306 yards without an interception, and the Knights (3-0) won for the 16th straight time to set a record for consecutive victories by an American Athletic Conference team.

Milton scored on runs of 12, 9 and 13 yards, using a nifty jump cut to avoid a defender and get into the end zone on the last one.

Touchdown passes of 12 yards to Dredrick Snelson, 21 yards to Marlon Williams and 19 yards to Gabriel Davis hiked Milton’s career total to 56 — tied with Blake Bortles for fourth-most in school history.

FAU (2-2) stayed close for a half, but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the prolific UCF offense. Devin Singletary rushed for 131 yards and three TDs for the Owls, who finished with 320 yards on the ground.

UCF led 21-17 at the half, letting a two-touchdown lead slip away and falling behind on a second-quarter field goal before regaining control on Milton’s TD pass to Williams.

The Knights used an early interception to set up Milton’s first TD run and then drove 92 yards in 10 plays to go up 14-0 on Snelson’s TD reception midway through the first quarter.

But FAU, which won the Conference USA title in its first season under coach Lane Kiffin, was unfazed.

Chris Robison settled down after throwing the interception that led to UCF’s first touchdown and fed the UCF defense a steady diet of Singletary. The Owls battled back by putting together a couple of time-consuming scoring drives that kept Milton off the field.

Singletary’s first touchdown finished an 11-play, 71-yard march. The Owls also held the ball for six minutes, driving 54 yards to position Vladimir Rivas to kick a 32-yard field goal for a short-lived 17-14 lead.

Robison was intercepted three times and finished 13 of 26 passing for 124 yards, including a 23-yard TD throw to Kerrith Whyte late in the third quarter.

Milton finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting last season, when he helped UCF go 13-0, including a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. With UCF trailing 17-14, he took over the game by going 4 of 4 for 74 yards on the Knights’ go-ahead drive and then ran for a pair of scores in the third quarter to build the lead to 35-17.

UCF hosts Pitt next Saturday in its final nonconference game.

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