After falling behind 45-24, Texas scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, pulling within a single point on the heels of Heard’s 45-yard touchdown run with 1:11 remaining, but Nick Rose missed the extra point, and Cal (3-0) escaped Austin with a narrow win. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were among them, but having just drafted quarterback Jameis Winston No. 1 overall, the Bucs were likely evaluating elsewhere.
California Golden Bears’ wide receiver Kenny Lawler (center) celebrates with teammates wide receiver Maurice Harris (left) and running back Tre Watson after scoring a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns during first half action Saturday September 19, 2015 at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Tx.
The loss spoiled a spectacular game for Texas quarterback Jerron Heard, who passed for 364 yards and rushed for 163 on 24 carries with three touchdowns.
Despite his two turnovers, he looked poised in the pocket and was able to take advantage of running lanes.
The biggest piece on Texas’ roster, as with most rosters, is the quarterback. Texas can’t get into a shootout but I don’t think the defense can stop the Golden Bears either. Late in the second quarter, the Longhorns gave up a 49-yard run to junior Khalfani Muhammad which set up an eventual Golden Bears’ touchdown. Heard led the Longhorns to a victory to even their record.
Will Cal cover as a near-touchdown road favorite tonight when it visits Texas at 7:30PM ET?
And then, with one incredible gut punch, the agony was back again. This has the feeling of a season that can spiral out of control if they let it, but the way they play in this game should be instructive as to how keyed in they are.
California coach Sonny Dykes took notice of a Texas offense that had new life with Heard and new play caller Jay Norvell.
“This one hurts”, he said.
Royce Freeman ran for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Ducks (2-1), who rebounded from last weekend’s loss at Michigan State.
Cal enters the contest on Saturday with the best passing offense of the Pac-12 & 4th best in the nation with 396 yards a game. After being one of the worst defenses in the country last year, the Bears’ defensive unit has been a pleasant surprise so far this year.
On the ensuing drive by the Longhorns, Jerrod Heard’s pass would be intercepted by a Cal linebacker that dropped into coverage. Running back Daniel Lasco is questionable with a hip injury.
Young made the bet with Scott X. Nady, a Texas high school football coach former Cal player from the early 90s.
In the end, however, Cal’s defense and special teams did just enough to prevent the Longhorns from silencing the work of the Bears’ offense. “We knew if we went really hard, really fast, everything was gonna work out”.
California didn’t score in the fourth quarter and Texas kept grinding out yards and touchdowns.