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QBs hurt for South Florida-Cincinnati game

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QBs hurt for South Florida-Cincinnati game

CINCINNATI (AP) South Florida and Cincinnati are finishing off the season with their title hopes in tatters, pretty much like their quarterbacks.

Who will be able to play on Friday night? Will they get through a whole game? Or get into the end zone?

The Bearcats (7-3, 3-2 Big East) had their title hopes dashed by a 10-3 loss at home to league-leading Rutgers last Saturday. They've lost to both the Scarlet Knights and Louisville, ending their chances of catching up with the front runners.

Senior quarterback Brendon Kay hurt his non-throwing elbow during the game, leaving the possibility that Cincinnati could have to return to Munchie Legaux at some point. Kay started the last two games in place of the struggling Legaux and is likely to start against South Florida (3-7, 1-4).

The question is whether he can make it through the game.

``Both quarterbacks gain equal repetitions like they normally do and we will see how the elbow progresses,'' coach Butch Jones said.

The Bearcats have nothing on the Bulls when it comes to injured quarterbacks.

South Florida lost B.J. Daniels to a broken left ankle on Nov. 3. Bobby Eveld took over and separated his left shoulder during the first quarter of a 40-9 loss to Miami last weekend. Matt Floyd finished it out and completed 20 of 35 passes for 175 yards with a pair of interceptions.

Like the Bearcats, the Bulls couldn't get into the end zone, settling for three field goals. Floyd is expected to make his first start on Friday night.

``I like the headiness the poise the way he handled himself, especially starting with a little adversity,'' coach Skip Holtz said. ``Matt is a gutsy performer. He took some shots. I don't think we did a lot to help him - we did drop six (passes). The receivers definitely need to pick it up.''

Floyd was nervous at the outset, but got a little smoother as the game went on. The Bulls still couldn't get a touchdown.

``We moved the ball great,'' Floyd said. ``We'd go up the field, then we'd stutter and stop. We didn't come out with any points. We've shown we can move the ball offensively. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes, we have to come up with big plays.''

The Bearcats avoided their first shutout since 2005 with a field goal in the closing seconds. For the first time since 1987, they lost a game when they gave up only 10 points.

Cincinnati had been the league's top-ranked offense heading into the game.

``We are not used to very many offensive performances like that,'' Jones said. ``I told our offensive team that it's a standard and an expectation around here, and putting three points on the board is flat-out inexcusable.''

The Bearcats will honor 24 seniors before their final home game, which could include challenging weather. A cold front is expected to move through early Friday, bringing rain, falling temperatures and wind gusts.

``I joked with Skip at media day,'' Jones said. ``I said, `I hope we have a foot of snow.' You know what, that doesn't matter. There's nothing you can do about that because we're working to get to eight wins. We're working to get to a quality bowl and it's all about winning.

``If it's a little (more) bitter colder than usual, that would be nice too.''

The Bulls will have the turtlenecks ready.

``Just hope nobody comes out in a scarf,'' Holtz said. ``It's a mental thing, a toughness thing. It's still about finding a way to win.

``I will not be bundled up with gloves and a hat.''

---

AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.

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We can’t stop staring at these Bowie Baysox commemorative moon landing jerseys

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Twitter/@BowieBaysox

We can’t stop staring at these Bowie Baysox commemorative moon landing jerseys

One of the coolest things about Minor League Baseball is the creativity that comes with it.

The stadiums. The ice cream deals. The interesting mascots. And most importantly, the uniforms.

The Bowie Baysox, the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, released special uniforms they will be wearing on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing.

And, oh wow, are they something. Take a look.

On the front of the uniform, you can see the image of where lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the lunar surface of the moon. On the back, a satellite view of the moon is pictured, with the player's number on top of it. Both the number and the cursive "Baysox" on the front are filled in with the American flag.

If you're looking for some to do on Saturday, go support the Baysox and their Moon Landing uniforms. If only there was a jersey giveaway.

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Bullpen struggles plague Nationals in loss to Orioles

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Bullpen struggles plague Nationals in loss to Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Juan Soto sat on the ground against the left-field wall, his head in his hands in the bottom of the eighth. Washington's outfielder had just reached for a long shot from Baltimore's Trey Mancini, but the ball was just out of Soto's reach and Mancini notched his 19th homer of the year, a two-run knock that gave the Orioles a 6-2 lead. 

Soto's body language symbolized more than just his frustration from the one play. By the end of the game -- the start of which was delayed 92 minutes after an onslaught of rain made Camden Yards look like a blizzard had blown into town -- the Orioles outscored the Nationals 9-2, almost the opposite of Washington's 8-1 win Tuesday.

Both teams were sluggish out of the box; a one-run ball game until the seventh, when Baltimore tore the game wide open. Washington put across its two sole runs in the third and fifth, both RBIs from Adam Eaton (he knocked in Soto on a sacrifice fly on the third, and Trea Turner on a double in the fifth). 

The Orioles briefly tied the game in the fourth, but it wasn't until the seventh when Baltimore broke down Washington's bullpen and put up two consecutive multi-run innings. 

Though Washington starter Erick Fedde, who was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg earlier Wednesday, put in six solid innings on the mound and only allowed on run on five hits in his 66 pitches, the Nationals' bullpen struggled to thwart the Orioles' comeback seventh and eighth innings.   

Since the outing was Fedde's first since he was recalled, Washington manager Davey Martinez didn't want to stretch him since he'd had two weeks off. 

"He got us through the sixth inning," Martinez said. "We had [Wander Suero] ready to go, but [Fedde] did well."

Suero, Tony Sipp and Javy Guerra combined for the seventh inning, contributing an out apiece. Suero got off to a rough start, however, and the first two batters he faced reached base. In his outing he gave up three earned runs on three hits and one walk.

After the game Suero explained that he received some bad personal news prior to the game, so he wasn't necessarily in the right mindset.

Sipp faced only two batters before he was done on the mound (he walked one and gave up a sacrifice fly to Rio Ruiz). So, when Guerra entered with two outs and two runners on, the Nationals were in desperate need of that elusive third out. 

Guerra induced a groundout to end the seventh, but couldn't carry that momentum into the eighth. To start the penultimate inning, Guerra gave up that two-run shot to left field that left Soto with his head hanging between his knees. 

Washington stuck with Guerra after those two runs crossed the plate, but as the right-hander struggled to record even one out, Martinez made the call and brought in Matt Grace to complete the inning. Three more runs crossed in the half, putting Baltimore ahead 9-2.

Now, the Nationals head to Atlanta to face the NL East-leading Braves for a four-game set. Washington is 6 1/2 games back of Atlanta, though the Nationals are the top wild-card standings in the National League.

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