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Undefeated no more! Arizona State tops No. 15 Cal in defensive battle

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For the first time since 2009, no team from the Pac-12 managed to get through the first five games of the season without a loss. No. 15 Cal (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) was upset at home Friday night by Arizona State (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in a 24-17 game showcasing two of the toughest defenses the conference has to offer. Eno Benjamin scored the game-winning touchdown for Arizona State with 4:41 to play in the game. The Sun Devils tacked on a field goal later in the fourth quarter for the final score.

Cal’s offensive hopes took a hit with the loss of starting quarterback Chase Garbers in the second quarter. Garbers fell to the ground hard on his right shoulder and left the game favoring his throwing arm. Garbers did not return to the game in uniform but did return to the Cal sideline with his arm in a sling.

Without Garbers and against a solid defensive team like Arizona State, Cal going with backup quarterback Devon Modster was far from an ideal situation. Fortunately, Cal’s defense was up to the task and the Bears had enough to power through a scoring drive with their running game to tie the game at 14-14 in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter is when Cal seemed to have the ball just bounce their way. As Cal converged on Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels and forced a fumble, the football fell into the hands of Cameron Goode to give the ball to Cal. Quick reaction time by Goode allowed Cal to gain possession, which led to a go-ahead field goal by Greg Thomas from 47 yards away.

The lead would not last. for as much defense as this game had, teams seemed to have answers to their opponent’s scores all night. After Cal took the 17-14 lead, Arizona State embarked on a 15-play drive led by Daniels and Benjamin. The 15-play drive consumed just over six minutes of clock in the fourth quarter. With the defenses leading the way, that played to the advantage of Herm Edwards and his program.

 

For the first time since 2009, no team in the Pac-12 has managed to go 5-0. Cal losing for the first time means there will be no undefeated Pac-12 champion. The one-loss Pac-12 champion is still certainly in play, although there is still two months of conference games to get through and there could very well be some cannibalism within the conference still to come. Even if Cal wasn’t a real threat to reach the College Football Playoff, the Pac-12 appears to be on track to miss out on the playoff for a second consecutive season.

Cal will be on the road next week for a big game in the Pac-12 North Divison. Cal visits Oregon, who has won three straight games since losing their season opener against Auburn. Oregon won last year’s meeting, 42-24. Cal’s last win against Oregon was in 2016 in a 52-49 shootout. Oregon will be coming off a bye week after beating Stanford last week.

Arizona State will get a week off before playing a pair of tough games back-to-back. The Sun Devils host Washington State in two weeks and follow that with a road game at Utah.

Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown announces he will no longer participate in team activities ‘until real action is taken’

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There’s further unrest within the Texas football program.

June 4, Longhorns wide receiver Brennan Eagles kicked up quite the kerfuffle by proclaiming, amidst police brutality and racial injustice, “I’ll be [damned] if you think I’ll play another snap with the platform I have that [affects the] majority of people that contribute to the sport who don’t actually play.” A week later, Texas student-athletes, including football players, took to social media en masse to spread their message: “We aim to hold the athletic department and university to a higher standard by not only asking them to keep their promise of condemning racism on our campus, but to go beyond this by taking action to make Texas more comfortable and inclusive for the black athletes and the black community that has so fervently supported this program.” Not long after, linebacker Juwan Mitchell publicly stated, “I do not feel comfortable representing the University of Texas.

After a couple of weeks of quiet on that front, DeMarvion Overshown has shattered it.  In a statement posted to Twitter, the linebacker announced that, “until real action is taken and changes are made I will be sitting out of all team activities.”

“We have been told that things are being done behind close(d) doors but have yet to see any changes,” Overshown added.

The university has not responded to Overshown’s stance.

In their social-media message last month, the student-athletes laid out several areas of change they want to see enacted.  Among them: renaming several buildings on campus, including James Hogg Auditorium; “replacement of statues with more diverse statues on campus designed by artists/sculptors who are people of color”; the UT Athletic Department donating .5% of its annual earnings to black organizations and the Black Lives Matter movement; and replacing “The Eyes of Texas with a new song without racist undertones.”

The athletes suggested lifting the requirement of athletes to sing a song that was established in 1903 during a period of lynchings and Jim Crow society, the Daily Texan wrote two years ago.

Overshown, a junior, has appeared in 17 games during his two seasons with the Longhorns.

Texas State QB Cedric Case makes his move to the transfer portal

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Texas State has had a lovehate relationship with the football transfer portal this offseason. This week, the hate reared its head. Again.

Cedric Case Tuesday announced that he has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving Texas State football.  The quarterback made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

“After many discussions with my family and a lot of reflection about my future, I’ve decided at this time it’s in my best interest to transfer from Texas State University,” Case wrote. “I want to thank Coach Spavital and the rest of the coaching staff for giving me the great opportunity to be [a part] of their program, and helping me become a better football player and a better man.

“I also want to thank my teammates for treating me like family and making San Marcos feel like home from the moment I got there. I’ve made countless memories over the past year, and can’t wait to watch the success each of you will have on and off the field.”

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.

Case was a two-star member of the Texas State football Class of 2019.  The Lincoln, Nebraska, native was the No. 7 player regardless of position in his home state. He will have to sit out the 2020 season.  That will leave him with three years of eligibility to use starting in 2021.

As a true freshman, Case didn’t see the field for the Bobcats.

Texas State is coming off its second consecutive 3-9 football season, its first under head coach Jake Spavital. In fact, the Bobcats haven’t finished above-.500 since going 7-5 in 2014. The 2012 season was the program’s first at the FBS level.

Liberty the new home for Georgia Tech transfer kicker Brenton King

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The ever-evolving kicking position for Liberty football has taken another turn.

Back in March, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins revealed that Brenton King had decided to go pro in something other than sports.  Earlier this month, though, it was confirmed that the placekicker had since placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

On Twitter this week, King announced that he has committed to Liberty football.

“Excited for this new chapter in my life,” the kicker wrote. “Can’t wait to be back on the field. Thank you [special teams coordinator Tanner Burns] for believing in me and giving me a chance to play the sport I love still.

“Go Flames!”

Coming out of high school in Georgia, King was a two-star member of the Georgia Tech football Class of 2017. As a true freshman, he split time as the primary placekicker for the Yellow Jackets.  King was Tech’s primary kicker this past season.  In between, he kicked in four games but was able to take a redshirt for 2018.

During his three seasons, King connected on 42-of-46 point-afters.  However, he was successful on just nine of his 17 field-goal attempts.

King left Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility.  That, of course, means he can immediately play this season as well as next.

The football independent will be looking to replace its full-time kicker from a year ago, Alex Probert.  In February of this year, Probert transferred to Iowa State.

Liberty became a provisional Football Bowl Subdivision member in 2018.  In its initial season as a full FBS member last year, the Flames qualified for their first-ever bowl game.  And won it.

Syracuse makes addition of starting FCS defensive lineman official

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Syracuse football has officially bolstered its defensive line with a lower-level addition.

Earlier this month, Cody Roscoe announced on Twitter that he will be transferring into Dino Babers‘ Syracuse football program.  This week, the Orange confirmed the defensive lineman has signed with the program.  The defensive lineman is coming to the ACC school from McNeese State.

Because he comes in from an FCS program, Roscoe will be eligible to play immediately in 2020.  According to a release, Roscoe is already enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Roscoe was a two-year starter for the Cowboys.  He totaled 19 tackles for loss and 13½ sacks in that action.  The lineman had 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks this postseason, with both totals good for second on the team.

The FCS player is one of the few additions for a Syracuse football program that has lost its share to the portal this offseason.  Since mid-March, the Orange has seen four of their players leave for the NCAA transfer database.

Wallace, incidentally, has since moved on to Kent State.

Syracuse is set to open the 2020 college football season at Boston College Sept. 4.