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Colorado rallies from 17 down to upend No. 25 Nebraska in OT

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These past two games have been so good it makes you pine for the days when Colorado and Nebraska found a way to play every season. After Colorado took a back-and-forth game in Lincoln a year ago, the Buffaloes completed a 17-point comeback in barely more than a quarter to stun No. 25 Nebraska, 34-31 in overtime.

Trailing 17-0 at the break, Colorado rallied to tie the game at 24-24, then again at 31-31 on a fabulous 26-yard heave from Steven Montez to Tony Brown with 46 seconds left in regulation. Heaving the ball down the field with 24 ticks to play, Adrian Martinez was intercepted by CU’s Dimitri Stanley, who raced the ball 48 yards to the Nebraska 41 with nine seconds to play, but replay found his knee was down upon catching the ball at his own 15 and the game went to overtime.

Colorado (2-0) opened overtime with a 34-yard James Stefanou field goal, then sacked Martinez on 3rd-and-9 to force a 48-yard Isaac Armstrong field goal to push the game to double overtime, but his kick sailed wide right.

The first half was near perfect for Nebraska (1-1). Martinez hit all nine of his passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 45 more with another score, allowing the Huskers to take a 17-0 lead to the break.

The second half? A different story.

After an exchange of five punts to open the half, Colorado finally got on the board on an 11-yard Jaren Mangham run at the 1:52 mark of the third quarter, capping an 8-play, 64-yard drive.

Colorado then pulled within three on one of the gutsiest calls of the season: a flea-flicker from the Buffs’ own 4-yard line, which turned into a school-record 96-yard connection from Montez to KD Nixon, pulling CU within 17-14 with 14:22 left to play.

Nebraska, its offense vacant for the entire third quarter, answered immediately: a 75-yard swing pass from Martinez to Maurice Washington on the game’s next snap.

Colorado answered, though, needing only five snaps to put together a 75-yard scoring march of its own. Mangham pulled the Buffaloes back within three at 24-21 with a 7-yard rush with 12:19 left. Colorado’s defense then stepped up, stripping Martinez for the second time of the game, this time at his own 20. Colorado could not take its first lead of the day, Montez’s third-and-goal pass to Brown was too flat, but Stefanou’s 20-yard boot leveled the game with 8:30 remaining.

Nebraska re-gained the lead with a vintage Big 8-Nebraska drive: seven plays, all of them runs by the quarterback or running back, for 75 yards and a score. Martinez punctuated the drive with a 6-yard keeper on 4th-and-1 with 5:49 remaining.

Colorado appeared to seize back momentum when Laviska Shenault returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards, but he was stripped and Nebraska’s Luke Reimer recovered at his won 21. Given a chance to seize permanent control of the game, Nebraska instead went three-and-out, and Colorado took over at its own 29 with 3:33 to play and pulled even on Montez’s pass to Brown.

After throwing for 84 yards in the first half, Montez finished the day 28-of-41 for 375 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Martinez threw for 290 yards and two scores, rushed for 66 and two more, but committed three turnovers.

While Nebraska can take a shallow solace in its 49-20-2 lead in the series, Colorado can point to its two consecutive comeback victories until the teams meet again in 2023.

Two Rutgers players tweet decisions to transfer from Scarlet Knights

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Even as the Rutgers football program adds transfers, Greg Schiano‘s new squad is losing them through the same process.

Friday evening, wide receiver Mohamed Jabbie announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer from the Rutgers football team.  Just a few hours later, teammate and offensive lineman Michael Maietti (pictured) used the same social-media platform to announce a similar decision.

Both Jabbie and Maietti will be leaving the Scarlet Knights as graduate transfers.  The loss of the latter, though, will likely leave the biggest mark.

The past three seasons, Maietti has started 33 games at center for the Scarlet Knights.  The New Jersey native earned Academic All-Big Ten honors each of the last three seasons.

Appearing in 27 games, Jabbie started 12 of those contests.

This past season, Jabbie set career-highs in catches (14), receiving yards (149) and receiving touchdowns (one).  He will apparently finish his Rutgers football career with 182 yards and a touchdown on 18 receptions.

CB Tony Butler posts classy, heartfelt goodbye in announcing transfer from Nebraska

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Thanks to a Nebraska football player, we won’t have to go through an entire day without a portal post.  Hurray?

Late this past week, Tony Butler announced in a very classy, heartfelt post on Twitter that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database.  The move would serve as the first step in a departure from the Nebraska football program.

The cornerback could also return to the Nebraska football team if he so desires.

That said, Butler would be leaving the Cornhuskers as a graduate transfer.  The 2020 season will be his final year of collegiate eligibility.

“In 2016, I came here as an 18-year-old kid lost and looking for a home.  Nebraska, you became my home and brought me in with open arms,” Butler wrote. “This place became very special. …

“Nebraska, you have done an incredible job at helping a lost boy become a man.  My family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity.”

A three-star 2016 signee, Butler was rated as the No. 22 player regardless of position in the state of Ohio.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

The past three seasons, Butler played in 27 games.  Four of those appearances came in 2019, which was likely the trigger for the decision to transfer.  Most of the games played came on special teams.

Butler is the third player to leave the Nebraska football program in a week.

Linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal Wednesday.  Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.

Five-star Penn State WR Justin Shorter tweets transfer to Florida

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The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.

In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database.  Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.

As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.

A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.

Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018.  In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.

Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.

World of college football reacts to tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old daughter in helicopter crash

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As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.

Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event.  The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.

Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.

Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters.  The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.

In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.