Cal’s 50-43 win over No. 11 Texas in the early hours of Sunday morning proved college football saved its most dramatic ending for last. An exciting game that featured nearly 1,100 yards of offense got especially crazy in the final two minutes.
From Charlie Strong’s bizarre decision to punt with little time remaining to a controversial fumble/non-recovery call by the officials, here’s how the Longhorns and Golden Bears capped off Week 3.
1. Texas opted to punt with 1:41 remaining and two timeouts: Texas’ defense had been gashed all evening. Yet, for some reason, Strong made the decision to punt on fourth down while trailing by seven points with less than two minutes remaining and a pair of timeouts in his back pocket. At best, it was a peculiar decision. At worst, it was straight-up awful. Texas may have been backed up at its own 21-yard line, but even a reasonable, best-case scenario for punting meant Cal would have been able to burn about a minute before punting the ball back to Texas.
2. Cal running back Vic Enwere, on his way to a touchdown, dropped the ball before crossing the goal line: How does this keep happening? The game looked to be over for good when Enwere ran for a would-be touchdown on third-and-1 during Cal’s ensuing possession. However, replay showed Enwere dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon got away with this earlier in the evening against Ohio State, but officials ruled that Enwere did, in fact, fumble the ball.
3. However, the officials ruled there was no immediate recovery: It was clear Enwere fumbled the ball, but officials decided there was no “immediate recovery,” so the Golden Bears kept possession and proceeded to kneel the ball at the 1-yard line. Based on the camera shots, that decision appears to be an awful one. From drop to recovery, a mere three seconds elapsed. The play should not have been declared dead — that or it should have been a touchback in the end zone — and the Longhorns should have had one final chance to win the game.
Either way, Cal escapes with a win and Texas — which shot itself repeatedly in the foot with penalties, turnovers and missed field goals — drops to 2-1 on the season.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Cal’s controversial upset of Texas includes goal line throw away, strange officiating