It’s time to pump the brakes on the “Texas is back” caravan.
The No. 11 Longhorns rolled into Cal with high hopes of being the bell cow in a Big 12 Conference that has vastly underachieved in the first three weeks and left with a 50-43 loss.
However, the game was not without controversy. In the waning minutes, as Cal tried to milk the clock and Texas tried to get the ball back for a potential game-tying drive, Cal running back Vic Enwere broke loose and was free to the end zone. However, as he approached the goal line, he inexplicably dropped the ball as he celebrated early.
While Cal was congratulating Enwere, a Texas player picked the ball up and stood in the end zone.
The play should have been called a touchback and Texas should have gotten a minute to try and tie the game. But after a review, officials determined that while Cal did fumble the ball at the 1-yard-line, there was “no immediate recovery” and therefore Cal retained the ball on the 1-yard line.
"no immediate recovery" THIS TEXAS GUY LITERALLY HAS THE BALL pic.twitter.com/56sMyWARrE
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 18, 2016
Video evidence begged to differ and while Cal coach Sonny Dykes breathed a sigh of relief, Texas coach Charlie Strong protested vehemently.
In the end, the loss was just a nightcap to what has been a miserable three weeks for the Big 12. Oklahoma, who was picked to return to the College Football Playoff, has lost games against Houston and Ohio State. TCU lost to Arkansas, Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan (on another officiating gaffe) and the rest of the conference has been so-so. Texas was the one team the Big 12 could hang its hat on after its big season-opening win against Notre Dame.
But all that came crashing down Monday after the Longhorns gave up 50 points — its second game giving up 47 or more points — to a Cal team that lost to San Diego State last week. What’s worse is that Texas led early in the fourth quarter, but allowed Cal to score late in the fourth and then punted from deep in its own territory with less than two minutes remaining, which set up Cal’s controversial play.
Even if Texas had gotten the ball back, it would have had no timeouts and 80 yards to go for the game-tying score.
Cal now heads into its first Pac-12 date with Arizona State, which is sure to be another high-scoring affair.
For more Cal news, visit GoldenBearReport.com.
For more Texas news, visit Orangebloods.com.
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