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Cal officially names Justin Wilcox as new head coach of the Bears

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It’s been in the works for several days but finally became official on Saturday afternoon: Justin Wilcox is the new head coach at Cal.

“It has been a dream of mine to lead a college football program and there’s no better place than here at Cal where I got my start and at a school that means so much to me,” Wilcox said in a statement. “I would like to thank Director of Athletics Mike Williams and his staff for putting their trust in me with the Cal football program. I’m looking forward to getting to know our team and hiring our staff, and we will get to work immediately recruiting student-athletes of high character who are good fits for Cal both academically and athletically. I can’t wait to get started.”

This is Wilcox’s first head coaching position but will be his second stint in Berkeley after coaching linebackers at the school from 2003-2005. He most recently spent the past season as the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin but has plenty of Pac-12 experience from stops at Washington, USC and as a player at Oregon.

Just minutes after the news was officially released about Wilcox, West Virginia also announced that that former Bears offensive coordinator Jake Spavital was taking the same position in Morgantown. As a result, it will be interesting to see what kind of staff Wilcox puts together over the coming weeks as recruiting ramps up in the days and weeks leading up to National Signing Day.

Mike Williams makes early move from Clemson to NFL official

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Mike Williams‘ Robin to Deshaun Watson‘s Batman was indeed one hell of a final act at the collegiate level for the dynamic duo.

As most of the universe had expected, Williams announced via Twitter Wednesday that he is leaving Clemson early for the NFL.  The announcement comes one day after Williams’ partner in passing crime, Watson, confirmed the same.

Both decisions come after their Tigers staked its claim to the football program’s first national championship in 35 years.

After a serious neck injury cost him the vast majority of the 2015 season, Williams came back in 2016 to finish with 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the title game, Williams caught eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, including a huge 24-yard reception on the game-winning drive.

At this point, Williams is viewed by most as the top wide receiver in the April draft.

Rematch revenge! Clemson knocks off Alabama to win the 2017 National Championship Game

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In order to be the champions, you had to beat the champions. Mission accomplished for Clemson.

A historic rematch for the ages lived up to the hype thanks to a wild and career-defining fourth quarter that saw the Tigers win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in dramatic fashion 35-31 over Alabama.

The two defenses dominated the game early and often as many predicted given the number of stars on that side of the ball. Neither team found much success on third down (just nine combined conversions) and the passing game was inconsistent for both teams outside of a few big plays.

The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead behind the strong running of tailback Bo Scarbrough, who continued to abuse opponents with his punishing running style. He found the end zone early in the first quarter by scampering off to the left side of his big offensive line and finding pay dirt after 25 yards for the game’s first points. His second touchdown was even better than the first, using a few key blocks from his tight end and left tackle to hit the edge and scamper 37 yards for the score, running over a few defenders and carrying a few more on his back into the end zone.

Unfortunately the sophomore was injured in the third quarter with a leg injury, putting all the pressure on young quarterback Jalen Hurts. While he never looked too much like a true freshman, passing the ball was a struggle most of the night until he found a wide-open O.J. Howard for a 68-yard touchdown that had plenty thinking back to last year’s title game where he had a career outing.

That wasn’t enough to contain a determined Deshaun Watson in the final quarter however, as the signal-caller marched his team 88 yards in just six plays before leaping into the end zone for the first Clemson lead of the ball game with just under five minutes left. It was a vintage performance from the college superstar (who finished 36-of-56 for 420 yards and three touchdowns), which included several key hookups with receiver Mike Williams and a few key runs that moved the chains.

The Tide didn’t seem phased however, answering right back in a wild sequence of events. They broke out of their offensive malaise with a surprising trick play that found Howard for a big gain once again to enter Clemson territory. That’s when Hurts finally used his legs to find the end zone, scampering 30 yards to the goal line as he weaved and ducked out of numerous tackles.

Watson wasn’t done yet though, and saved his best for last with the game and his legacy on the line.

Facing a defense that was operating at a historic level coming into the game, Watson sliced and diced the Tide for a nine play, 68 yard march toward the end zone. With a make or break play coming up, the game’s offensive MVP dropped back and smoothly found ever reliable target Hunter Renfrow wide open in the end zone with just one second left.

That set off a wild celebration among the Clemson faithful as the school celebrated its second national title — and first since 1981 — in the sweetest of fashions. It was a game for the ages given the ending and tense final moments but will no doubt be remembered for an incredible drive that culminated in a championship for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers.

Report: Cal will interview Bears OC Jake Spavital for head coach

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Cal is not wasting much if any time.

Sunday, at least a few eyebrows were raised when athletic director Mike Williams announced that Sonny Dykes was out after four years as the Bears head coach.  A day later, ESPN.com‘s David Lombardi is reporting that Williams will interview Jake Spavital for the head-coaching vacancy Tuesday.

Spavital had just completed his first seasons as the Bears’ offensive coordinator.  Williams had named him as the football program’s interim head coach after Dykes’ dismissal.

Prior to coming to Berkley, Spavital spent three seasons at Texas A&M, the first as co-coordinator and the last two as solo coordinator. He was also A&M’s quarterbacks coach, which was his role at West Virginia in 2011-12.

Wisconsin defensive coordinator (and former Cal assistant) Justin Wilcox has been mentioned as a potential replacement, as has, of course, Chip Kelly.  The esteemed Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News tossed some cold water on the Kelly-to-Cal connection.

Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell ruled out with apparent ankle injury

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Clemson avoided a little bit of an injury concern in the first half when wide receiver Mike Williams was only forced to miss a brief time following a helmet-to-helmet collision, but the concern may be a tad more significant in the second half for redshirt freshman defensive end Clellin Ferrell.

Ferrell was left grabbing his left ankle at the end of a play in the third quarter but he managed to get up on his feet and go one more play before having to be helped off the field. Clemson medical staff members


He was tkane to the locker room and has since been seen jogging on the sideline, but he is now done for the night.