Missed PAT costs Texas as California outduels Horns, 45-44

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We noted at halftime that a plethora of mistakes was the only thing keeping California from holding a substantial lead over Texas. But it was one crucial mistake that cost Texas, as a Nick Rose missed PAT prematurely ended a three-touchdown rally and allowed California to hold on for a 45-44 win in Austin.

First, how they got there. Thanks to an offside penalty that cost them a fresh possession deep inside Texas territory, a fumble at the Longhorns goal line and another one near their own and, finally, a procedure penalty that led to a missed field goal, Cal – a touchdown favorite in most books – found itself down 24-14 with 1:32 to go in the first half after Johnathan Gray charged in for a six-yard touchdown run, his second of the half. But the Bears immediately marched 75 yards in four plays, capped by a one-yard Vic Enwere run, to pull within 24-21, and Jalen Jefferson stepped in front of a Jerrod Heard and raced it back to the Texas 30, leading to a 34-yard Matt Anderson field goal that knotted the game at 24-24 at the half.

Cal opened the second half by scoring touchdowns on all three of its third quarter possessions: a 42-yard march punctuated by another one-yard Enwere plunge, a three-yard Jared Goff pass to Kenny Lawler, and a 74-yard Khalfani Muhammad dash, to grab a 45-24 lead.

It was a 21-0 quarter and, in total, a 31-0 run dating back to the end of the first half that put the game completely out of reach… until it wasn’t.

Texas rallied in the fourth quarter, getting a 13-yard Heard run to pull within two scores with 13:24 to go, then a 27-yard D’Onta Foreman dash to pull within one touchdown at the three minute mark. Facing a potential game-ending 3rd-and-7 at the Texas 44, a Goff pass was dropped deep in Texas territory and the Longhorns stayed alive. Heard moved the Longhorns 81 yards in six plays, dashing 45 yards for his third score of the day, seemingly tying the game with 1:11 to go. And then Rose missed the extra point.

California recovered the onside kick and, with Texas out of timeouts, that was that. The Bears (3-0) held on for an important non-conference win, and Texas (1-2) found another way to lose a game in a half-decade full of them.

Goff completed 27-of-37 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns and one fumble, hitting nine different receivers on the night. Lawler was his top target on the night, snaring six passes for 79 yards and two scores. The Bears rushed for a combined 280 yards and three scores; Muhammad racked up 164 yards on 10 carries, and Enwere notched 73 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts.

In just his second start, Heard flummoxed California on the air and the ground. The redshirt freshman connected on 20-of-31 passes for 364 yards with one interception and rushed 24 times for 163 yards and three scores with one fumble. Two weeks after Texas posted 163 yards – total – in a blowout loss at Notre Dame, Heard racked up 527 by himself. Daje Johnson grabbed five receptions for 145 yards, and Gray posted four grabs for 71 yards to go with 11 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

In all, Texas outgained Cal 650-548 and held a 28-26 first downs advantage.

California visits Washington next week, while Texas hosts No. 25 Oklahoma State.

Lawyer up! Tate Martell to seek waiver for immediate eligibility

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If Tate Martell is sidelined for the upcoming season, it won’t be because he didn’t try to force his way onto the field.

Very early Wednesday morning, Martell took to Twitter to announce that he had decided to transfer from Ohio State to Miami.  It was thought that, because of NCAA transfer rules, Martell would have to sit out the 2019 season.

While that may ultimately end up being the case, 247Sports.com is reporting that the quarterback has “lawyered up” and will seek a waiver from the NCAA that would give him immediate eligibility.  And what case will Martell and his lawyer make? “Early indications are that Martell will try to use Ohio State’s sudden coaching change, from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day, as grounds to be immediately eligible,” the website wrote.

Meyer announced his retirement, effective after the Rose Bowl game, on Dec. 4, with the reins handed over to Day, who served as Martell’s position coach for both of his seasons in Columbus and was the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator/co-offensive coordinator in that span as well.  Why such a situation, when OSU stayed in-house for its new head football coach, would lead the NCAA to grant a waiver is unclear, although 247Sports.com‘s sources stated that Martell has “a better shot than you think” for a successful appeal.

It’s not clear who will be representing Martell as he makes his case in front of the NCAA.  What is clear is that it won’t be Tom Mars, the go-to attorney for such appeals who is representing Justin Fields, the quarterback who transferred from Georgia to Ohio State and triggered Martell’s departure from the Buckeyes.

From a week ago:

If the redshirt freshman Martell wins a waiver, he would eligible to play in 2019 and would compete with N’Kosi Perry, the returning favorite, and Jarren Williams, among others, for the starting job.  If he loses the appeal, he would have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020 that he can use.

FCS school new home for 2017 four-star Texas RB Toneil Carter

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Nearly a month to the day that he announced he was leaving at an FBS program, Toneil Carter announced he’d landed at one at the FCS level.

On Twitter Tuesday, Carter confirmed that he will be continuing his collegiate playing career at Sam Houston State.  On Dec. 14, the running back confirmed on the same social media service that he had decided to transfer from Texas.

Carter was a four-star member of the Longhorns’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 10 back in the country and the No. 26 player at any position in the state of Texas.  After rushing for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 53 carries as a true freshman, Carter didn’t record a stat in 2018.

As the Bearkats play at the FCS level, Carter will be eligible to play in 2019.  Including this coming season, he’ll have three years of eligibility at his disposal.

K-State transfer QB who committed to UTEP now headed to TCU

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In the end, never mind.  Nothing to see here, at least when it comes to El Paso.

In late December, departing Kansas State quarterback Alex Delton announced via Twitter that he would be transferring to UTEP, whose head coach, Dana Dimel, is a former K-State offensive coordinator.  Tuesday night, however, Delton announced a “change of plans,” confirming via Twitter once again that he has instead decided to continue his collegiate playing career at TCU.

It’s unclear what led to Delton’s about-face on the Miners and decision to move on to the Horned Frogs, who have been considered a potential landing spot for Alabama transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts.

As Delton will join Gary Patterson’s program as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the Horned Frogs in 2019.  The upcoming season will be the dual-threat quarterback’s final year of eligibility.

In four years at K-State, Delton, the MVP of the 2017 Cactus Bowl, started six of the 20 games in which he played.  The Kansas native passed for 1,202 yards and ran for another 734 during his time in Little Manhattan.  He’s also accounted for 16 touchdowns — five passing, 11 rushing.

Transferring Ohio State QB Tate Martell tweets move to Miami

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With the going about to get tough in Columbus, Tate Martell is getting going to South Beach.

Very early Wednesday morning, Martell took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to transfer to Miami.  The move comes roughly six days after reports first surfaced that the quarterback’s name had been entered into the NCAA transfer database.

Martell’s move also comes not long after a high-profile transfer joined the Buckeyes’ quarterback room, a development that, at least publicly, didn’t concern Martell.

In the midst of all of the Justin Fields-to-Ohio State speculation, Martell, the presumptive heir to Dwayne Haskins‘ quarterback throne in Columbus, scoffed at speculation that he would transfer if Fields joined the Buckeyes.

Why would I leave for someone who hasn’t put a single second into this program? I have put two years of literally working my ass into something that I’ve been waiting for and a dream I’ve had my whole life. To just run away from somebody who hasn’t put in a single second in at winter workouts and doesn’t know what the program is all about? There’s not a chance.

Jan. 5, it was confirmed that Fields had transferred from Georgia to OSU.  Five days later, Martell has kicked off the process of high-tailing it out of Columbus to avoid what would’ve been a high-profile competition for the starting job, provided Fields is granted immediate eligibility as expected.

Martell was a four-star member of OSU’s 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Martell threw for 269 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-28 passing this past season while also running for another 128 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, it’s expected that Martell will have to sit out the 2019 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.