No. 13 Oklahoma overcomes strong effort from Texas

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The fans gave Texas a standing ovation as they walked off the field in the old Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Longhorns dug deep for a valiant effort against their rivals from Oklahoma, and the fans recognized it and rewarded it appropriately. Despite giving Oklahoma everything it could handle, it was No. 11 Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) that escaped state fair with a victory over Texas (2-4, 1-2 Big 12). Thanks to a special teams and a defensive touchdown, Oklahoma avoided a second straight loss in the state of Texas in as many weeks with a 31-26 victory over the Longhorns.

After a tough battle in the first half, Oklahoma came out and flexed its muscle in the second half in building a 31-13 lead a few minutes into the fourth quarter. How they got there was a-typical of what Oklahoma has done this season. The Sooners were without a third-down conversion until the final minutes of the game (0-for-9 before the final possession of the game). Trevor Knight was held to just 12-of-20 passing for 129 yards and a touchdown and the running game managed just 103 yards. Samaje Perine was the leading rusher for Oklahoma, and his 13-yard touchdown run early in the fourth ended up being the game-winning score.

After falling behind by 18 points, Texas could have easily packed it in and let the inevitable result play out. Instead, the Longhorns stormed back and made a run. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes led the charge on offense with a touchdown pass to John Harris midway through the quarter. After the defense did its job, Swoopes again led the offense downfield, gassing Oklahoma’s defense in the process. After a 12-yard run by Swoopes for a score, Texas scrambled to try to get a two-point conversion attempt put together to make it a three-point game.

The play clock continued to run and Texas was unable to get a play off. Rather than accept a five-yard delay of game penalty, Strong used one of his timeouts to try to get the right play. The decision to use a timeout in that situation might be worth discussion, as the Longhorns likely would have benefitted from having that extra timeout on defense. Texas failed to get the two-points once they did run a play, so the timeout was ultimately wasted. Had Texas just accepted the delay of game penalty, the two-point conversion attempt could still be run with a little more room to spread things out, which seemed to be playing to the advantage of Texas at that point in the game. Texas also would have had one extra timeout to use to save some clock. Instead, Texas ended up running out of timeouts on defense and not getting the football back until 19 seconds remained. Maybe Oklahoma would have won anyway, but this felt like a coaching decision worth taking a harder look at moving forward.

Texas head coach Charlie Strong is not one to take pride in moral victories, but he should be able to take something from this performance against Oklahoma once he allows it to settle in. The Longhorns were called for 11 penalties to Oklahoma’s three. Texas will look to snap a two-game losing skid next week at home against Iowa State. At 2-4, Texas must win four of their final six games to become bowl eligible. That schedule includes games at a ranked Kansas State and Oklahoma State and at home against a ranked TCU squad.

Oklahoma will host Kansas State next weekend. The Sooners also remain in the Big 12 hunt, as TCU and Baylor are underway in Waco to determine who sits in first place. Oklahoma can still have a great chance to win the Big 12, and perhaps even make a push for a College Football Playoff spot, but the Sooners look to have some work to do.

Oklahoma State losing QB Brendan Costello to the transfer portal

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Another quarterback with the Costello surname has hit the portal, although this one is from Oklahoma State football.

According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports, Brendan Costello has taken the first step in leaving the Cowboys by entering the NCAA transfer database.  Thus far, the Oklahoma State football program has not commented on the development.  Nor has the player on his personal Twitter account for that matter.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Barring the unexpected, Costello will have to sit out the 2020 season.  That would then leave him with three years of eligibility to use starting in 2021.

Costello was a three-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2019.  The California product was rated as the No. 17 dual-threat quarterback in the country according to the 247Sports.com composite.

The 5-11, 194-pound quarterback didn’t see the field as a true freshman.  Obviously, Costello took a redshirt for the 2019 campaign.

Spencer Sanders is the incumbent under center for OSU.  As a redshirt freshman a year ago, Sanders threw for 2,065 yards and 16 touchdowns.  He also ran for another 628 and a pair of scores.  The Big 12 coaches named him as the conference’s Offensive Freshman of the Year.

This past cycle, Oklahoma State also added Shane Illingworth to its 2020 football recruiting class.  The four-star signee was rated as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the country.

Navy’s Tony Brown enters the transfer portal

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The on-again, off-again relationship Navy has had with the transfer portal is back on again.  Unfortunately for the service academy.

In late March, it was reported that Chelen Garnes had decided to enter the transfer portal. However, the defensive back subsequently pulled his name out of the database in a sign that he would be sticking with the Navy football team.  Earlier this month, though, Garnes opted to reenter the portal, the Capital Gazette reported.  Starting cornerback Michael McMorris, meanwhile, entered the database back in January.  Four months later, the Baltimore Sun reported last week that the defensive back has done a 180 and opted to remain with the Navy football team.

This week, however, 247Sports.com is reporting that Tony Brown has opted to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database.  As a junior, Brown would likely not be leaving the academy as a graduate.  That would mean the striker would have to sit out the 2020 season.  Barring a waiver from the NCAA of course.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Brown was a two-star member of the Navy football Class of 2018.  The Sicklerville, New Jersey, product was the No. 55 player regardless of position in his home state. Brown attended the Naval Academy Prep School during the 2017-18 academic year.

As a true freshman in 2018, Brown appeared in two games.  He started three of the 13 games in which he played in 2019.  The 6-3, 201-pound hybrid linebacker/defensive back returned a fumble eight yards for a score in one of those appearances.

Ex-Georgia WR Josh Moran transfers to New Mexico State

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One former Georgia Bulldog has found himself a new college football home.  Unofficially, of course.

Earlier this offseason, Josh Moran opted to enter the NCAA transfer database.  Tuesday, the wide receiver announced that he will be continuing his collegiate playing career at New Mexico State.  Moran divulged the news on his personal Twitter account.

“Thank you Jesus for these past four years at Georgia which have been nothing short of amazing,” Moran wrote. “Yes, the SEC Championship, Rose Bowl win, and National Championship runs were unbelievable, but looking back nothing compares to the lifelong brothers I now have leaving this place.  To my coaches, trainers, and teammates I love you guys and y’all will forever hold a special spot in my heart.

“I want to thank Coach [Doug] Martin and the entire coaching staff at NMSU for believing in me and making the recruiting process as easy as possible during this pandemic. I can’t wait to get to Las Cruces and compete with the guys! God bless and Go Aggies!”

As a graduate transfer, Moran will be eligible to play immediately in 2020.  This will be his final season of eligibility.

Moran was a three-star member of the Georgia football Class of 2016.  The Alpharetta, Ge., native held offers from, among others, Air Force, Army, Cal, Louisville, Navy and West Virginia.  Instead of accepting a scholarship, however, Moran opted to become a walk-on at Georgia.

During his time with the Bulldogs, though, Moran didn’t see any game action.  He spent his entire four years in Athens as a scout team player for the Bulldogs.

NMSU is coming off a 2-10 2019 campaign in its second season as a football independent.  The Aggies had previously been members of the Sun Belt Conference.  That relationship ended following the 2017 season.

South Alabama announces home-and-home with Ole Miss

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Thanks to Ole Miss, we have some football scheduling news you don’t normally see.  An SEC school agreeing to a straight home-and-home with a Group of Five program.

South Alabama Monday confirmed that it has reached an agreement on a home-and-home series with Ole Miss in football.  The Jaguars will travel to Oxford Sept. 2, 2028.  The Rebels will make the five-hour trek to Mobile Sept. 1 of the following season.

The 2029 game will mark the first time an SEC school travels to the Sun Belt Conference program since Mississippi State in 2014.  That was actually the first and only time since USA became an FBS member.

South Alabama and Ole Miss have met once in football. That came back in 2017, with the Rebels claiming a 47-27 win in Oxford.

“We are very excited to sign this home-and-home contract with Ole Miss,” USA head coach Steve Campbell said in a statement. “They have a proud program and tradition, it will be great to have them play in Hancock Whitney Stadium; hopefully they will be the first of many Power Five schools to make that trip to play here in Mobile. Mississippi has been very good for us as far as recruiting, we have brought in a lot of talented student-athletes from the state, I know it will be exciting for those future recruits to play Ole Miss.”

USA’s new stadium, incidentally, is set to open this coming season.  That site will also serve as the new home of the Senior Bowl.

In its history, USA has played six games against SEC schools.  They are 1-5 in those games.  The lone win?  Against Mississippi State in 2016.

Outside of Ole Miss, USA has five future games against members of the SEC.  Those are:

  • Florida (2020)
  • Tennessee (2021)
  • LSU (2024)
  • Auburn (2025)
  • Kentucky (2026).