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No. 9 Oklahoma stops 2-point try to avoid epic collapse to Iowa State

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A 42-21 lead with 3:47 to go in the third quarter seemed to put the game in hand for Oklahoma but, with 24 seconds left in the game, Oklahoma’s defense found itself needing to stop a 2-point try from a resurgent Iowa State to avoid an epic collapse not only to its seemingly-well-in-hand win, but to its College Football Playoff hopes.

Before we tell you what happened, you have to know how we got there.

Trailing 35-14 at the half, took the ball to open the third quarter and rolled 75 yards in eight plays — six of them runs — to pull within 35-21. The Cyclones then forced a three-and-out to get the ball with a chance to make it a one-score game, but Oklahoma then rolled 97 yards in 10 plays, and when Kennedy Brooks broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run with 3:47 to go in the third quarter, Oklahoma was back up 42-21 and the game was back in comfortable territory.

But the Cyclones would not relent. They went 69 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 3-yard toss from Brock Purdy to Chase Allen on the first play of the fourth quarter.

CeeDee Lamb, who was otherwise excellent throughout the game, fumbled the ball to Iowa State at the Cyclones’ 32-yard line two plays after that, and Iowa State slowly, methodically drove into scoring territory with a chance to pull within 42-35. Knowing a field goal would not get the job done, Matt Campbell went for a 4th-and-10 at the OU 19 with 10:09 to play, which was picked up on a 10-yard strike from Purdy to Deshaunte Jones. However, when Purdy’s 4th-and-goal pass from the 13 sailed incomplete with 7:37 to go, it seemed the comeback effort was dead.

But Iowa State still wouldn’t die. The Cyclones forced a punt, then breezed 80 yards in four plays, pulling within 42-35 on a 33-yard toss from Purdy to Sean Shaw, Jr. with 3:35 left.

Oklahoma’s offense, suddenly gone cold, ran for two and one yards on first and second down on an “all right, let’s put this thing away” drive.. and then, on 3rd-and-7, Jalen Hurts scrambled and tossed an interception to Iowa State’s Lawrence Wright, who raced the ball to OU’s 35 with 2:30 left in the game.

And then, with 24 seconds left, Purdy lofted a ball to Norman native Charlie Kolar for a 13-yard touchdown, pulling a game that was 42-21 to start the quarter was now 42-41. Campbell elected to go for two when Oklahoma, going on five consecutive games without a takeaway, finally got one when Parnell Motley wrestled the ball away from La'Michael Pettway to secure the win.

No. 9 Oklahoma’s 42-41 win kept the Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) in the Playoff hunt, avoided OU’s first back-to-back regular season losses since 1999 and avoided a 2-game home losing streak to Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12), who stunned the Sooners in Norman in 2017.

Before the near-collapse, Oklahoma raced to a lead behind the heroics of Jalen Hurts.

The senior accounted for all five of OU’s first half touchdowns, finding Lamb for scores of 48 and 63 yards, Trejan Bridges for a 7-yard score, and running in from eight and two yards out. For the game, he went 18-of-26 for 273 yards with three scores and a pick while rushing 22 times for 68 yards and two scores. Brooks, rarely used in the loss to K-State, rushed 15 times for 132 yards and a score, while Lamb caught eight passes for 167 yards.

Purdy finished the game 19-of-30 for 282 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, but it’s the one pass that doesn’t show up in the box score that will stick in his mind whenever he thinks of this game.

After being ruled out for 2020 season — and with his football future in doubt — Clemson WR Justyn Ross vows he’s going to ‘shock the world’

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If you’re betting against Clemson standout Justyn Ross, do so at your own peril.

Justyn Ross was very limited as Clemson worked its way through a spring football practice that was ultimately scuttled because of the coronavirus pandemic.  In lieu of an official explanation from the program, rumors of the seriousness of Ross’ health issues had been bouncing off the vast expanses of the Internet.

In mid-March, Dabo Swinney attempted to clear the air, saying that the standout wide receiver is “perfectly fine” even as he’s dealing with what’s being described as “stinger symptoms.” Late last month, however, it was reported that Ross will undergo surgery this month.  A Clemson football official subsequently confirmed that a medical procedure is in the offing.

This past Monday, Swinney confirmed that Ross will undergo surgery this month.  In doing so, Swinney also confirmed that the receiver will miss the entire 2020 season.  And, it’s a congenital neck issue that could potentially end his playing career.

On Twitter Thursday, though, Ross vowed to “shock the world.”

Ross was the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama in the Class of 2018, and he has more than lived up to the recruiting hype.

His first two seasons with the Clemson football program, Ross has totaled 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns on 112 receptions.  This past season, caught 66 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns.

In four career College Football Playoff games, Ross has a statline of 23-424-3. for the Tigers

Texas WR Brennan Eagles tweets he’ll ‘never play another snap’ amidst racial injustice, police brutality

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Not sure how I missed this on a very eventful Thursday, but the heartfelt thoughts of a Texas football player deserve to be heard by everyone.

Amidst protests against racial injustice and police brutality, Tom Herman has been one of a handful of head coaches who have been very vocal on issues that directly impact his Longhorn players.  Most of whom are black.

“[I]f you’re going to cheer them and love them for three-and-a-half hours a Saturday in the fall, you better have the same feelings for them off the field, because they’re human beings,” the Texas football coach said earlier this week. “They deserve the same amount of respect and human rights that all of us do in this country when we agreed on the social contract to be a member of the United States.”

In that same conversation, Herman also talked about not censoring any of his players on social media. “[S]ay what’s on your heart. You have a voice. Use it. And you know, I support them in that,” the coach said.

In that vein, UT wide receiver Brennan Eagles took to Twitter very early Thursday morning.  And suggested that he could very well sideline himself from football for the foreseeable future because of the current climate.

Below are the wide receiver’s own words.

Okay so for all my brothers out there that are student-athletes, do you really think athletics should be a man focus right now during this time that we live in? At the end of the day if that is the main focus I find you blind to the fact that your platform can change this.  Thousands of people come to watch for entertainment, revenue is built from that, money is generated from us. If it wasn’t for athletics we wouldn’t have coaches/trainers. Doctors wouldn’t [perform] as many [surgeries], etc. the list goes on. 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. Know your value is all I’m saying. Athletics brings people together all over but at the end of the day I’m not going to play another snap knowing what’s going on in our society due to color and the system being broken… I just can’t… let’s look at the bigger picture. Don’t care if you yellow or blue that goes for every athlete/supporter out there.

Last season, Brennan was third on the Longhorns in receptions (32) and receiving yards (522).  He was also tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns (six).  With the departures of Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson, Brennan will be UT’s leading returning receiver.  If he actually returns, of course.

One final note: Thursday evening, Texas Longhorn football players, coaches and UT staffers, along with members of the University of Texas and City of Austin police departments, marched from Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium to the footsteps of the Texas State Capitol building.  In solidarity against racial injustice and police brutality.

“If you fail to realize what’s going on in front of you, when you see it every day, on social media you see how we’ve been viewed throughout history and the way we’ve been treated, you’re close-minded and you’re part of the problem,” safety Caden Sterns said after the march.

“You have to educate yourself. As white people, you got to educate yourself, because it’s right in front of you. All you’ve got to do is just look. The only way not to see this is if you clearly just turn around.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including photos of a shirtless Jim Harbaugh at a satellite camp making their glorious debut

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on June 5, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Rape accusation preceded Brian Snead’s departure from Ohio State
THE SYNOPSIS: The running back has never been charged.  The alleged victim has declined to talk to the police.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Maryland’s Jordan McNair in critical condition after collapsing during workout
THE SYNOPSIS: One of the saddest stories of any offseason.  Ever.  McNair died a week later of what was later determined to be heatstroke.  A toxic culture that contributed to McNair’s death led to head coach D.J. Durkin‘s firing.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Another report has Al Pacino playing film version of Joe Paterno
THE SYNOPSIS: Pacino did indeed play the former Penn State head coach.  And he was brilliant.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Five-star QB, ex-A&M commit Tate Martell’s Final 5 features Ohio State, UCLA, USC
THE SYNOPSIS: How the mighty have fallen.

2015

THE HEADLINE: PHOTOS: Jim Harbaugh, shirtless, at Michigan’s satellite camp
THE SYNOPSIS: This will never get old.  Ever.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Four-star Miami QB signee hit with charges in single-car crash
THE SYNOPSIS: This was far from Kevin Olsen‘s most serious legal issueBy a longshot.

South Alabama announces future home-and-home with Louisiana Tech

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If you’ve been thinking, “boy, I sure could use some scheduling news involving South Alabama and Louisiana Tech,” are you ever in luck.

South Alabama Wednesday announced a future home-and-home series with Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs will head to Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile on Sept. 24, 2022.  The Jaguars will then take a trip to Ruston’s Joe Aillet Stadium on Sept. 25, 2027.

South Alabama and Louisiana Tech have squared off twice previously.  Those two matchups were part of a home-and-home in 2017 and 2018.  Both of those were wins for the Bulldogs.

USA had previously announced a home-and-home with Ole Miss.

South Alabama is coming off a 2-10 season in the second year under Steve Campbell.  The Jaguars have never finished above .500 since making the move to the FBS level in 2012.  The closest they came was a 6-6 record in 2013.

Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, is coming off a 10-3 2019 campaign.  The 10 wins set a school record as an FBS program. In beating Miami 14-0 in the 2019 Independence Bowl, Tech became the first Group of Five school to shut out a Power Five member in a postseason game.

In seven seasons under skip Holtz, the Bulldogs have gone 56-36.  Those are the most wins for a Bulldogs head coach since Tech moved up to the Div. I-A, now FBS, level.  With 151, Joe Aillet holds the school’s all-time record.