Washington Football

Kay leads Cincinnati over Duke 48-34 in Belk Bowl

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Kay leads Cincinnati over Duke 48-34 in Belk Bowl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) All Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay wanted was one more chance.

He got it thanks to Cincinnati's defense.

The Bearcats forced Josh Snead's fumble at the Cincinnati 5 with 1:20 left and Kay threw an 83-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 44 seconds to go, lifting Cincinnati and interim coach Steve Stripling to an improbable 48-34 win over the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday night.

``We were figuring we might get one more shot as an offense and when we got the fumble we looked at each other and said we've worked way too hard to quit now,'' Kay said.

Kay, who set a Belk Bowl record with four touchdown passes and was named the game's MVP, called it a ``huge win'' given the adversity the Bearcats faced after losing coach Butch Jones and their two coordinators three weeks ago.

``It's really been chaos for the last month ... pure chaos,'' Kay said. ``We've played it off as it hasn't been, but it was pure chaos from the time we found out (Jones) he was leaving.''

Almost as chaotic as their latest win.

It looked as though the Bearcats were about done when Duke was deep in their territory and looking for the go-ahead score with 1:20 left in the game.

But Snead fumbled and Kay capitalized with his go-ahead pass to Kelce. Nick Temple capped the wild finish with a 55-yard interception return with 14 seconds left.

Kay quickly took advantage of the change in momentum after the Snead fumble, finding Kelce down the middle on a seam route. Kelce got behind the Duke defense and caught the ball in stride, racing the final 60 yards to the end zone as Blue Devils fans looked on in stunned silence.

It was a play called Left Texas 60, Y Go Burst, with three receivers running seam routes.

``I threw the ball and I was just hoping he would turn and look,'' Kay said. ``He wasn't looking until the last second and it worked out great.''

Kay also threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Ralph David Abernathy, and 25-yard scoring strikes to Anthony McClung and Chris Moore. George Winn also ran for a 46-yard touchdown for Cincinnati.

``I felt like a point guard dishing out the ball,'' Kay said. ``The guys were making plays.''

Cincinnati (10-3) finished with its fifth 10-win season in six years.

``That was one of our goals,'' Stripling said.

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree threw for 358 yards - another Belk Bowl record - for the Blue Devils (6-7), who were seeking their first bowl win since 1961. Conner Vernon, the ACC's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, had 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Blue Devils.

But the big play for Duke was Snead's fumble.

``It's heartbreaking because we wanted to win this game for our seniors,'' Snead said. ``But as a team, we're going to learn from this and build off the momentum from this. I've got great teammates. They encouraged me to keep my head up. If you have a little adversity, you've got to face it.''

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said the loss was tough to swallow.

``This feeling in our guts is not very good right now,'' he said. ``But we're going to move forward with this. The biggest insult we can give our seniors is to not move forward from this and we will do this.''

Duke, which came in having allowed 51 points and an average of 294.5 yards rushing over its previous four games, struggled to stop Cincinnati after the first quarter.

The Bearcats piled up 554 total yards of offense, including 130 yards on the ground by Winn. Duke wasn't too shabby on offense, either, combining with the Bearcats for a Belk Bowl-record 1,114 yards.

Cincinnati trailed 16-0 before rattling off 27 straight points to seemingly take control, and the big turning point came courtesy of linebacker Greg Blair.

With Duke leading 16-3 and looking for more, Renfree fired a pass over the middle for running back Jela Duncan, who lunged for the goal line but was hit by Blair and fumbled. Blair recovered and suddenly the Bearcats had a shot.

``That seemed to fire us up on the sidelines,'' Blair said. ``It gave us some life.''

A short time later, Kay connected with McClung to cut the Duke lead to 16-10. Kay's second scoring pass to Abernathy capped a 98-yard drive in the final two minutes of the first half and gave the Bearcats their first lead.

NOTES: Duke punter Will Monday set a Belk Bowl record with a 79-yard punt. ... The two teams set a combined record for most first downs in the Belk Bowl.

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'I think it's a travesty': Former Washington kicker Mark Moseley upset by name change

'I think it's a travesty': Former Washington kicker Mark Moseley upset by name change

For many who have played for -- or even just followed -- the Washington football team over the years, the name change can be seen as a bittersweet moment. It's viewed by many as a necessary change, but also the end of an era filled with history.

Former Washington kicker Mark Moseley sees nothing "sweet" about the switch in monikers, as his feelings toward the decision are mostly bitter.

In an interview with ABC 7 News' Scott Abraham, Moseley shared how he felt about the name change, expressing great disappointment. To him, the ones most negatively impacted by the decision are the Native Americans.

“Well, I’m disappointed naturally that we’ve given up the fight here," Moseley said. "I’m disappointed here because they are the ones that are losing with this. They respected us, they loved the Redskins. That’s all I got.”

“Now, what do they gain from this? What are the Native Americans going to gain from this? Absolutely nothing. What do they lose? The constant representation of their people," Moseley said.

Moseley explained that throughout his life, and especially during and after his time with Washington, he has made an effort to connect with the Native American community. Through visits, football camps and more, he feels he has a strong understanding of how the name change really impacts the community. 

Based on his past conversations, Moseley believes that the Native American community didn't want the name change. Rather, it was the past moniker that was helping people learn about their history.

“That’s not what they wanted, I can assure you from personal experience of meeting with hundreds and hundreds of them, that’s not what they wanted," Moseley said.

"These radicals once again are going to jump up and down holler and scream that we won, we won," Moseley said. "They haven't won a damn thing. All they have done is hurt the Native Americans. I hope they are happy with themselves."

RELATED: WALKER WONDERS HOW TO CELEBRATE HISTORY MOVING FORWARD

As for the conversation on how the name change impacts the history of the franchise, Moseley feels that isn't what the focus should be. To him, it's not the franchise past that will be forgotten

“That’s not the point. That’s where this is all gong wrong. That’s not the point," Moseley said. “The point is that people are taking away liberties every day and this is just another one of them. The name Redskins was not doing anything but helping the Native Americans. It was keeping their name out there, it was making people remember who they are.”

Moseley, who played 13 seasons in Washington, always saw it as an honor to represent that Native Americans with the name and logo. It was a reason he spent so much time with the franchise, stating that it was bigger than the game of football.

“Me as a player, I took great honor and respect to that name," Moseley said. "Every game, every year, year after year after year that I played here I played because that name meant something.”

“I think it’s a travesty that they’re taking that away from the Native Americans here," Moseley said.

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Though Moseley is strongly against the name change, he's accepted that change is sometimes inevitable. He personally believes it was the wrong choice, but is now going to "learn to live with it."

He believes others against the decision will as well. When it comes down to it, the name is only one part of the franchise. For Moseley, as much as he loved what it represented, it's the players past and present that truly make Washington football what it is.

“It’s not really the name so much as it is the players. That’s who the fans, the fans love the players. Those guys that are out there every Sunday, those guys that every day they work their butts off to get bigger, stronger, faster so they can improve and make the team a better team," Moseley said. "That’s what it’s all about, and that’s going to continue."

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Which Nationals would have been named All-Stars in a normal season?

Which Nationals would have been named All-Stars in a normal season?

July 14, 2020 was supposed to be a day for celebrating the best players in Major League Baseball. The 2020 MLB All-Star Game, set to take place that evening at Dodger Stadium, had the promise of putting some of the biggest names on display such as Mookie Betts in his new LA threads, Gerrit Cole still fresh off signing a $324 million deal last winter and Mike Trout from only a few miles down the road.

However, the coronavirus pandemic had other plans. MLB suspended spring training on March 12 and spent three months on hold before ultimately settling on a 60-game season that begins July 23. As a result, there will be no All-Star Game for the first time since 1945.

The Nationals, coming off their first World Series title in franchise history, have plenty of stars who would’ve merited consideration. Even with 2019 NL MVP candidate Anthony Rendon departing for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency, there’s no shortage of talent in D.C.

Here are the players that stood the best chance of representing the Nationals in this year’s All-Star Game.

The favorites

SP Max Scherzer

Name value alone could’ve gotten him in if fans could vote on pitchers, but even a 35-year-old Scherzer can’t be counted out of making another run at the NL Cy Young.

SP Stephen Strasburg,

The reigning World Series MVP is already a three-time All-Star and coming off an offseason in which he signed a seven-year, $245 million deal to return to Washington.

LF Juan Soto

Making his first All-Star team would seem like something of a formality for Soto, who has already established himself as one of the game’s best young stars.

RELATED: DANIEL HUDSON ISN’T SURE A 60-GAME MLB SEASON CAN DETERMINE THE BEST TEAM

Needed a career year

SP Patrick Corbin

Corbin was given the Warren Spahn Award for the best left-hander in baseball last season and is no stranger to the Midsummer Classic. If he could’ve avoided the infrequent implosion (five starts of 5+ runs allowed in 2019) on the mound, he stood a good chance of posting numbers worthy of a selection.

RP Sean Doolittle

With Will Harris and Daniel Hudson in the fold, Doolittle wouldn’t have been relied on as much as he was last season. By getting more rest and still handling closer duties for a contending team, Doolittle certainly would’ve been in the running.

SS Trea Turner

No broken finger holding him back, Turner had a chance to show he can help replace some of Rendon’s production in what would’ve been his age-27 season. Shortstop is a deep position in the NL (Trevor Story, Javier Báez, Fernando Tatís Jr., Corey Seager) but Turner has to make it one of these years, right?

2B Starlin Castro

Castro may not be the first player who comes to mind when you hear “four-time All-Star” but that’s what happens when a young, healthy infielder plays every day during a rebuild. However, coming off a 2019 second half in which he hit .302 with 16 home runs, Castro came to D.C. looking to show he’s developed into a different kind of player.

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If he made the leap

CF Victor Robles

Though it’s a bit of a long shot considering his struggles at the plate as a rookie, Robles has always displayed the tools that make coaches dream of what he can become. As he gains a few more pounds—Robles is one of the strongest players on the team—and improves his plate discipline, there’s no telling what his ceiling might be.

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