Reports: Texas S Derek Williams to miss first half of CFP semifinal

The Texas Longhorns will be without defensive back Derek Williams for the first half of the College Football Playoff semifinal after his appeal for a targeting ejection was denied, according to multiple reports Tuesday.Williams was appealing a targeting call that opened the second half of the Longhorns’ Big 12 Championship win on Saturday. A blocker on Texas’ kick return, Williams appeared to make helmet-to-helmet contact with an Oklahoma State player. The call was upheld after review, and Williams was ejected from the game.Though only a freshman and technically not a starter, Williams has taken on a key role in Texas’ defensive back rotation. He notched 39 total tackles, one for a loss, and two pass breakups in 11 games during the regular season. His 373 snaps played at safety this season is third-most among the team’s defensive backs.The news comes as No. 3 Texas (12-1, 9-1) is dealing with senior safety Jalen Catalon’s announcement Monday that he intends to enter the transfer portal as a graduate transfer.