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Texas vs. Cal: Anatomy of the Nick Rose missed PAT

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iIck Rose had made 42-of-44 PATs in his career until the decisive miss on Saturday night. What happened?

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the time, for most teams around the country, extra points are virtually automatic -- in 2014, 43 teams made it through the entire season without missing one.

So when senior place kicker Nick Rose tried to tie the game against the California Golden Bears following redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard's miraculous scramble to close the deficit to 45-44, head coach Charlie Strong wasn't even watching.

"I didn't even look," Strong said after the game. "What I'm saying, I'm on the headset saying, we've got a minute and 11, what are we going to do on defense because we have to stop them. We can't just let them -- we've got to get pressure on them. We can't let them drive the ball because we had stopped them the last few times, but I said, now they're going to open it back up so we've got to go stop them."

It wasn't until Strong saw a Cal player running down the field that he realized what happened.

"Oh my God," he said.

Freshman defensive end Charles Omenihu wasn't watching either -- he was celebrating with Heard.

What did happen on that play?

Cal senior cornerback Darius White noticed something during film study on Texas.

"We were watching film on the team, and we saw that the edge wasn't as strong as other teams," White said. "If we rushed really hard, we could tell that we could get a tip on him [Nick Rose], and that is all I did. Trusting my technique and doing what my coach told me to do. On the edges they weren't blocking as hard. If we went really hard, really fast, quick, did our job and what we were supposed to do, everything was going to work out. That is all I did."

Strong thought that White's pressure on the edge caused Rose to lose concentration and technique.

"Well, Nick has been doing well, and for that to happen there, he got the pressure coming from the outside and just mishit it. Just go ahead and kick through it. If anything, the guy may have ran at you when you're ready to kick. I think he just didn't kick through the ball."

Perhaps Texas was simply due for something like this to happen -- over the years, the Horns have been almost perfect in critical situations. From Dusty Magnum's kick against Michigan in the Rose Bowl to an important David Pino kick in the next Rose Bowl to Ryan Bailey against Nebraska in 2006 to Hunter Lawrence against Nebraska in 2009 to Justin Tucker against Texas A&M in 2011, the jubilation in such circumstances has far out-weighed the heartbreak.

In fact, to this writer's recollection, Anthony Fera's late miss at home against West Virginia in 2012 was the only such game-changing shank in the last 13 years.

But regardless of whether it was fated to happen by the simple odds of it all, Texas clearly has to work to do in that area of special teams. Overall, new special teams coach Jeff Traylor has done a solid job in cleaning up the issues and improving blocking on punt return and the effort on the coverage units, but he'll have to go back and look at why the Horns are soft on the edge because other teams could try to take advantage of that weakness just as Cal did.

And Rose will have to recover mentally from that mistake. From what players said after the game, though, he'll do it with their full support.

"I did watch it, but we still love Nick [Rose]," said Heard. "Stuff like that happens, and we are still going to rely on him to make even more critical kicks for us. No hard feelings for him. He knows what he has to do, and he's going to bounce back and be that reliable kicker we have."