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Cowboy Up: Oklahoma State beats No. 6 Texas for seventh time in nine tries


The first part of the Texas-Oklahoma State series was highlighted by a series of major Texas comebacks. From 35-7 in 2004. From 28-9 a year later. From 35-14 in the fourth quarter in 2007.

The second part of the UT-OSU series is what’s happened this decade. Oklahoma State entered Saturday winning six of the eight meetings in the 2010s, and those wins tilted the series such that the Cowboys, who entered Saturday night a dead team walking, can now survive such comeback efforts.

The Longhorns trailed 31-14 at the half and by the same score late into the third quarter, but Texas got two Sam Ehlinger touchdown passes and then forced a Cowboys punt to take over the ball with a chance to take the lead. But Zach Sinor boomed a 57-yard blast, which Texas’s Brandon Jones fielded near his own end zone and was tackled at his own 2. Oklahoma State forced a punt and took over inside Texas territory, but still Texas had a chance to force a field goal on a 3rd-and-goal from the 10 with just under six minutes left.

After a timeout, Oklahoma State dialed up a zone read keeper for Taylor Cornelius, who shed two tacklers to get in for the deciding touchdown, putting the Cowboys up 38-28 with 5:44 left.

Texas surged 75 yards down the field for the answering score — but it took nearly four minutes.

An onside kick with 1:46 left went straight to OSU’s Dylan Stoner. On a 3rd-and-6 with 1:37 left, Cornelius again kept the ball and picked up the crucial first down to allow Oklahoma State to hold on for a 38-35 win.

Of course, there was the story of how Oklahoma State built that 31-14 halftime lead in the first place. The Cowboys, a that gained only 311 yards in a 31-12 loss Kansas State its last time out, rolled up 378 yards in the first half. 

Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) accepted the ball to open the game and rolled 68 yards in four plays, scoring on a 40-yard pass from Cornelius to Tylan Wallace, who hauled in 216 yards in the first half alone.

After a Texas (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) touchdown, Oklahoma State answered with a 75-yard march in nine snaps, as Cornelius found Jelani Woods for a 16-yard score.

The Cowboys’ next two drives — 59 and 58 yards — ended in two Matt Ammendola field goal tries, one good from 24 and another hooked from 41.

Oklahoma State followed its first empty possession with a 10-play, 64-yard touchdown drive, scoring on a 1-yard Cornelius sneak.

After their first punt, Oklahoma State moved 70 yards in 10 plays for another Cornelius-to-Wallace touchdown. The Cowboys converted two fourth downs en route to the score, on by drawing an offsides on a 4th-and-1 punt, and then the 36-yard touchdown to Wallace on another 4th-and-1.

Cornelius finished the game 23-of-34 for 321 yards and three touchdowns plus 23 rushing yards for two crucial touchdowns.

Ehlinger struggled in the first half but rallied to go 22-of-42 for 283 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 10 times for 47 yards and two scores.

Third Maryland player tears ACL this offseason, with LB Durell Nchami being the latest

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Maryland has seen a player sidelined for a significant period of time by a serious knee injury.

The latest Terrapin to suffer such a setback is Durell Nchami, with first-year head coach Mike Locksley confirming Tuesday that the linebacker has been diagnosed with a torn ACL.  The true sophomore suffered the injury during a scrimmage this past Saturday.

Nchami, who will undergo surgery once the swelling subsides, will be sidelined for the entire 2019 season.

As a true freshman this past season, Nchami played in 10 games and was credited with 15 tackles, 4½ of which were for a loss.  While not expected to start this season even before the injury, Nchami was expected to play an even bigger role in sub packages this year.

“[It’s a] blow to us because of depth, that’s a big concern for us,” Locksley said. “We’ve got a really strong core group of players, but our depth is an issue. So again, we’ve got to continue to find ways to keep our guys healthy and it’s a shame because he was actually playing really well, really taken the next step.”

Nchami is the third Terrapin to suffer a torn ACL this offseason, joining wide receiver Jeshuan Jones (HERE) and Antwaine Richardson (HERE).

Lawsuit filed against Houston claims racial discrimination in process that led up to hiring of Dana Holgorsen

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On Dec. 30 of last year, Houston officially fired Major Applewhite as its head coach even as speculation about his future at the AAC school had flared for days.  Just three days later, Dana Holgorsen left West Virginia to take over for Applewhite in Houston.

And therein lies at least a bit of an issue with which the university now has to deal.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Dr. Kevin Simms, president of the African-American Coaches Association, has filed “[a] lawsuit… against the University of Houston that accuses the school of discrimination and failure to properly post its head football coaching position.” The suit claims that the university violated state law by failing to post the position for a minimum of two weeks, filing complaints with both the Texas Workforce Commission and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Simms is seeking $20 million in compensation in the suit, which also, coincidentally enough, is the total value of the contract signed by Holgorsen.

From the Chronicle‘s report:

The lawsuit seeks damage for “loss (sic) wages, loss (sic) earning capacity, future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenient (sic), mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life …” Simms requests a jury trial.

In the lawsuit, Simms claims to have “over 30 years of coaching experience and is clearly more qualified than Dana Holgersen (sic).” A search found no listings of any previous coaching jobs for Simms.

The lawsuit adds, “the University of Houston continues to bypass African-Americans in applying and being considered for the head football coach position as it does not adhere to the job posting and advertising requirements.

(Writer’s note: Yes, Holgorsen’s name was misspelled in the lawsuit.)

The suit further cites an April 30 Sports Illustrated article in which a deal between Holgorsen and UH superbooster Tilman Fertitta was reportedly reached on Dec. 22 for the head coach to replace Applewhite.  The verbal agreement was put together, per the article, shortly before UH was steamrolled by Army 70-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

“The University of Houston believes this case is without merit and looks forward to its resolution,” the school said in a statement.

(Tip O’ the Cap: our very own Zach Barnett)

Texas Tech adds sixth graduate transfer this offseason, this one a starting corner from Utah State

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With the start of the 2019 regular season a little over a week away, Texas Tech has bolstered its defensive secondary with an experienced addition to its roster.

Tuesday evening, Tech confirmed that Ja’Marcus Ingram has joined Matt Wells‘ football program and practiced with the team for the first time earlier in the day.  The cornerback began his collegiate career as a walk-on at Utah State before opting to leave the MWC school earlier this offseason.

As Ingram has already graduated from USU, he will be eligible to play immediately for Tech in 2019.  Including this coming season, the defensive back will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Ingram started the 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2017 and then five of the first six games for the Aggies this past season before going down with what turned out to be a season-ending injury.

As noted by the school in its release, Ingram is far from the first grad transfer added by Tech this offseason.

Ingram becomes the sixth graduate transfer to arrive in Lubbock this summer, joining a group that already includes Zech McPhearson (Penn State), Evan Rambo (Cal), Armand Shyne (Utah), RJ Turner (Louisiana-Monroe) and Jackson Tyner (Rice). Of that group, the trio of McPhearson, Rambo and Ingram will all have two years of eligibility remaining.

Tennessee’s Kurott Garland pulls name out of transfer portal

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It doesn’t happen very often, but it does, every once in a great while, play out this way.

Earlier this offseason, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kurott Garland signaled his intention to leave Tennessee by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database.  As we often note, players are not bound to transfer by entering the portal and can instead return to the team.

Tuesday, that rare phenomenon played out as Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Garland has decided to remain with the Volunteers.

“He was thinking about possibly transferring. We supported him all the way through, and in the end, he decided to come back here,” the head coach said by way of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “He’s here. We’re excited that he’s here. I think the guy has lots of ability.”

Garland was a three-star member of the Volunteers’ 2018 recruiting class.  He played in four games as a true freshman, which allowed him to take a redshirt for the past season.

Prior to his decision to enter the portal, Garland had been in line to see increased playing time as part of the Vols’ defensive line rotation. How that plays out moving forward this season remains to be seen.