Oklahoma State rallies to stun No. 20 Oklahoma in overtime

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This wasn’t the Bedlam game we expected. Not after Oklahoma started the season in the top 10 and Oklahoma State took Florida State to the wire on opening night. But with Cody Thomas and Mason Rudolph leading their respective clubs, not Trevor Knight and J.W. Walsh, and no Big 12 championship implications on the line for the first time in five years, Bedlam lived up its billing.

Oklahoma State scored the game’s final 10 points in to rally for a 38-35 overtime victory over the 20th-ranked Sooners in Norman.

This was an overtime game that had no business going to overtime.

Oklahoma took possession of the ball at the Cowboys’ 41-yard line leading 35-28 with 3:16 remaining in the game. Oklahoma State had no timeouts, so a first down clinched the game. The Sooners lost four yards on the next three snaps, so they were forced to punt. That’s when Jordan Sterns committed the greatest penalty in the history of the Oklahoma State football program. Jed Barnett‘s punt was downed at the 15, but Sterns was flagged for running into the kicker and, for some ill-fated reason, Stoops accepted the penalty.

Tyreek Hill returned the next punt 92 yards for a touchdown to the the game with 45 seconds remaining.

Then, on the Sooners’ last-gasp possession to win the game in regulation, Oklahoma was faced with a 4th-and-1 at its own 46, well within distance for something crazy to happen, but Bob Stoops let the clock expire with a timeout in his pocket.

Oklahoma took the ball to open the extra frame, and it was a complete debacle. The Sooners lost two yards in three plays, and Michael Hunnicutt missed a 44-yard field goal attempt.

The game was fate accompli at that point, as the Cowboys bullied the ball to the three-yard line and Ben Grogan knocked in a 21-yard field goal, his first since October, to give Oklahoma State the win.

The Sooners took a 28-14 lead into the break but, playing without Knight, its offense ground to a halt after Samaje Perine left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter. He was carrying the Sooners’ offense to that point, rushing 26 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Outside of a nine-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, Oklahoma’s offensive output in the second half and overtime resulted in five punts, a fumble, a turnover on downs and a missed field goal.

Thomas completed 10-of-17 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, but was only 4-of-11 for 34 yards after halftime.

Meanwhile, Thomas’ counterpart was terrific in his Bedlam debut. True freshman Mason Rudolph hit 19-of-35 throws for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Brandon Sheperd caught seven passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, Desmond Roland rushed 18 times for 68 yards and two touchdowns, and Hill added three rushes for 38 yards and six receptions for 22 yards to his punt return score.

After taking a 28-14 deficit into the third quarter, the Cowboys outscored Oklahoma 24-7 over the final 15 minutes plus overtime.

The win extends Oklahoma State’s season, as the six-win Pokes are now eligible for their ninth straight bowl game. They entered Saturday losers of five straight by three touchdowns or more for the first time in half a century. The win was Mike Gundy‘s second Bedlam victory in his 10 seasons as head coach, and Oklahoma State’s first win in Norman since 2001.

The loss drops Oklahoma to 8-4 on the year, concluding the most unsatisfying season in recent Oklahoma memory, and certainly in Stoops’ 16-year tenure. The Sooners beat Texas but were outplayed and out-fought for most of the game, lost to all three ranked teams they faced, and gagged away a sure Bedlam win in historic fashion.

And as for College Football Playoff implications? This result will have no impact on the TCU-Baylor debate as both clubs played each team, but it could set the third-ranked Frogs and sixth-ranked Bears back relative to No. 5 Ohio State in the eyes of the committee. Each team now has one more win over a bowl team, yes, but Oklahoma will now assuredly drop out of the Top 25. TCU will now have one Top 25 victory (No. 9 Kansas State), while Baylor will now have two, assuming it beats Kansas State tonight. Ohio State, meanwhile, will have two with a win over No. 13 Wisconsin tonight.

Wisconsin receiver Aron Cruickshank transfers to Rutgers

Wisconsin receiver Aron Cruickshank is transferring to Rutgers.
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Former Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank may be leaving the Badgers, but he will remain in the Big Ten. Cruickshank announced he is transferring to Rutgers.

Cruickshank confirmed his transfer to Rutgers with a post on his Instagram account on Saturday afternoon. According to NJ.com, Cruickshank was making an official visit to Rutgers this weekend. The visit must have gone well because he announced his transfer decision on the same day. Cruickshank announced his entry to the transfer portal earlier this month.

This is a nice addition for new (again) Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. If the hiring of Schiano was supposed to entice more talent in and around The Garden State to want to stay close to home to play Big Ten football, then the transfer decision of Cruickshank is an encouraging start for the Scarlet Knights. Cruickshank is a Brooklyn, New York native, and Rutgers does love to attach itself to the New York metropolitan region.

Cruickshank appeared in all 14 games played by Wisconsin in the 2019 season, including all 12 regular-season games, the Big Ten championship game, and the Rose Bowl. Cruickshank was used mostly on special teams with 23 kickoff returns for 674 yards and two touchdowns. Cruickshank had one of his kickoff touchdowns in the Rose Bowl loss to Oregon. He returned four kickoffs for 194 yards in the game. He also returned one kickoff to the house earlier in the season at Nebraska.

Cruickshank will have to sit out the 2020 season due to NCAA transfer rules. That will leave the former Badgers receiver with two years of eligibility beginning in 2021.

Texas brings Jay Boulware home from Oklahoma

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Jay Boulware is crossing sides in the Red River Rivalry… again. Boulware officially joined the Texas coaching staff on Saturday, the school announced. Boulware will be the special teams and tight ends coach for the Longhorns.

“Jay is a proven, accomplished coach and special teams coordinator who as a former Longhorn and Texas native, has deep roots in our state,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said in a released statement. “He also has extensive experience coaching in the Big 12, having spent a decade in our league, and has worked with teams that have competed at the highest level, including a National Championship team at Auburn in 2010.”

“I’ve been watching this program from afar since the day I left there in the spring of 1997, and I’ve always had it in my mind that I would like to come back someday and help Texas win a National Championship,” Boulware said in his released statement.

Boulware comes to Texas from rival Oklahoma. Boulware coached with the Sooners from 2013 through last season and was a part of multiple Big 12 championship teams and a program that participated in the College Football Playoff each of the past two seasons. Boulware was Oklahoma’s special teams and running backs during the last seven seasons. HE previously coached tight ends at Texas, NIU, Arizona, Utah, and Auburn.

Boulware started his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Longhorns in 2014. He eventually was named tight ends coach and spent three seasons with his alma mater (Boulware played offensive tackle for Texas in 1991 and 1992). His coaching stops have included Northern Illinois, Arizona, Stanford, Utah and Iowa State, where he joined Gene Chizik and followed him to Auburn. In 2013, Boulware was hired by Wisconsin to be a part of a new staff being compiled by Gary Andersen, but he left the Badgers for Oklahoma just months later.

Clemson DT Xavier Kelly announces entry to transfer portal

Clemson redshirt junior Xavier Kelly will leave Clemson as a graduate transfer.
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Defensive tackle Xavier Kelly will no longer be a part of the Clemson football program. The redshirt junior announced he has entered the NCAA transfer portal and will look for another school to wrap up his collegiate career.

“I have never shied away from hard work or a challenge. My time at Clemson was a challenge that I happily accepted, [and I] worked hard to be the best defensive lineman, teammate and student I could be,” Kelly said in a statement shared on his Twitter account on Saturday afternoon.

“With this being said, I have decided to enter the transfer portal and continue my football career elsewhere. It is an honor to be able to say that I graduated from Clemson. Clemson will always have a special place in my heart.”

Kelly was listed third on the Clemson depth chart for one of the team’s two defensive tackle positions. Kelly appeared as a backup option behind freshman Tyler Davis and redshirt sophomore Jordan Williams. Kelly appeared in 10 games in the 2019 season and recorded a total of six tackles with credit for half of a sack. Kelly did not play in either of Clemson’s game sin the College Football Playoff.

In 2016, Kelly was involved in a moped accident that resulted in stitches. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said at the time Kelly was not wearing a helmet when somebody crashed into his moped.

By entering the transfer portal, Kelly is free to have contact with any other college football program interested in recruiting him. As a graduate transfer, Kelly will be able to use his final year of eligibility in 2020 and will not have to sit out the 2019 season.

Bob Shoop and Brian Jean-Mary join Michigan coaching staff, Jay Harbaugh promoted to special teams coordinator

Brian Jean-Mary and Bob Shoop are the newest members of Michigan's coaching staff.
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Michigan has officially introduced two new defensive assistants to the staff. Brian Jean-Mary and Bob Shoop were added to the defensive side of the coaching staff on Saturday as Michigan continues to retool its coaching staff this offseason.

According to the release from Michigan on Saturday, Shoop will take on the role of safeties coach for the Wolverines. Jean-Mary will serve as linebackers coach. In addition, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh promoted his son, Jay Harbaugh, to special teams coordinator. Harbaugh will continue to coach the running backs as well.

“I am excited about the addition of Brian and Bob to our defensive coaching staff,” said Harbaugh. “Brian and Bob are well-respected, experienced coaches who represent great fits for the University of Michigan. Both coaches have experience coordinating some of the best defenses in the country, and their development of all-conference and future NFL players throughout their careers will benefit our program and student-athletes. Michigan Football looks forward to having Brian, Bob and their families join the University family.”

Jean-Mary joins the Michigan program after three seasons with former USF head coach Charlie Strong at USF. Jean-Mary has been a longtime assistant under Strong, coaching with Strong at Louisville and Texas prior to USF.

Shoop previously was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State. This will mark a return to the Big Ten for Shoop. Shoop previously coached at Penn State under James Franklin. Shoop went to Penn State with Franklin after three seasons at Vanderbilt. Shoop left Penn State for Tennessee after the 2015 season and coached the Vols defense for two seasons for former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Shoop and Penn State also carried on a bit of a legal squabble over Shoop’s contract and his exit from the Nittany Lions. Shoop took a job at Mississippi State when Joe Moorhead was hired (in the same coaching carousel that saw a coaching change at Tennessee and the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt, a former defensive coordinator himself).