Cal has new team rule: Give ball to official, don't drop it

Dr. Saturday
California’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/242902/" data-ylk="slk:Vic Enwere">Vic Enwere</a> (23) rushed for 110 yards in a win over Texas, but almost had a costly mistake. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
California’s Vic Enwere (23) rushed for 110 yards in a win over Texas, but almost had a costly mistake. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Cal coach Sonny Dykes has instituted a new team rule, and rightfully so.

After Golden Bears running back Vic Enwere dropped the ball just before crossing the goal line for what should have been a 55-yard touchdown Saturday night against Texas, Dykes told his team that they must hand the ball to a referee after scoring.

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“Every time we score a touchdown from now on, we will hand the ball directly to an official,” Dykes told USA Today.

Enwere’s gaffe could have proved costly. Cal was up 50-43 over the Longhorns when Enwere broke free for a touchdown that would have sealed the win. Like Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon did earlier in the night and Clemson’s Ray Ray McCloud did last week, Enwere dropped the ball before he crossed the plane of the goal line.

A Texas player did pick up the ball, but after a review, officials gave Cal possession at the Texas one-yard line because the Longhorns did not make an “immediate recovery.” Cal was able to run the clock out from there, but Enwere’s fumble could have given UT a chance to tie the game.

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While admitting his team got lucky, Dykes said it was a teachable moment for the rest of the team (and for the rest of the country, really).

From USA Today:

“You go from celebrating to all of the sudden the game is in question,” he said. “So we were very fortunate it worked out the way it did. We’ll talk through it, about the things guys do that they don’t think are a big deal but can have a big impact. What if Texas picks the ball up and runs it back 100 yards for a touchdown? We’ve got a serious problem at that point. We’ve just got to not be selfish. That’s part of growing up.”

Cal was able to run out the clock for the victory. And Dykes says the move was out of character for Enwere, a junior he described as “really smart, hard-working and not a selfish kid at all. … Vic felt terrible about it.”

“It’s really a strange phenomenon,” Dykes said. “I don’t understand it. But I can assure you it won’t ever happen to us again. We’ll get it fixed.”

With the win, Cal improved to 2-1 heading into Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears will head south to face Arizona State on Saturday.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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