Some leftover thoughts from the Fiesta Bowl
January, 3, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPN.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Oklahoma State's season is over, and ended in rather dramatic fashion. Here's my take on the game from last night, but there's plenty about the game left unsaid. Here's a few leftover thoughts:
- Good gracious, Justin Blackmon. I mentioned it in the postgame video, but this was probably the best game of his career in the last game of his career. The Cowboys needed every single yard he racked up, including a crazy catch in the fourth quarter to extend the game that, with all the late drama that followed, ended up getting overshadowed. On fourth-and-4 with a little more than three minutes left, he caught a short slant and took it 21 yards. Big-time play in a big-time spot. Three touchdown catches in a BCS bowl? He hadn't had three TDs all season, and hadn't done so since catching three against Tulsa in 2010. That was his second game in the season's first three games with three touchdowns.
- Totally disagreed with Mike Gundy's decision to kick the field goal after the Colton Chelf touchdown was reversed. Did he not just watch Stanford? Bad mojo. You want to tell me the odds of Quinn Sharp making a 22-yard kick is higher than Brandon Weeden running a QB sneak or two from a half-yard out? No way. Oh well. Paid off for the Cowboys.
- I know the OSU fans were mad about Stanford's band playing through the alma mater and postgame celebration, but oh man, when they're not making you mad, the band is awesome. They were led by -- who else? -- Hello Kitty and flanked by the tree mascot. It was my first time seeing a Stanford sporting event in person, and I wanted to take them all home with me.
- I mostly loved that this game was everything we all thought it would be. Two offenses ill-equipped to stop the other. Both executed well. We got lots of points and lots of drama. Great stuff.
- Can't say enough about the moment on the podium between Gundy and Shelley Budke. Gundy took the right approach by not talking about it before the game, but great move to dedicate the game to victims of the Nov. 17 plane crash that killed four people, including Kurt Budke, Oklahoma State's women's basketball coach. It's not overwrought. OSU is a close-knit university, and those deaths meant a lot to the players on the team. I touched on it in the postgame. A win like this doesn't change what happened, but it gives a lot of people who went through a lot of pain back then one big reason to smile. That's a great gift.
- Great crowd. I think that came through on the TV broadcast, but this was great. Last year's game with OU and UConn not playing for a whole lot was pretty weak. This one was electric. About 80 percent of the lower bowl stood for almost the entire game, and those fans were loud.
- The reaction on OSU's sideline after that missed kick to send the game into OT was pretty priceless. The jubilation was immediate, but when the players got to the sideline, you knew they knew how fortunate they were. A lot of guys could only look at each other and shake their heads. Cooper Bassett and Richetti Jones took some time to pray by themselves on the sideline after the kick. Here's guessing it was a prayer of gratitude.
- If you missed it: Gundy absolutely did "The Gundy" on the podium before the TV broadcast of the trophy celebration began. It was exactly as amazing as you'd expect. His players were begging for it from below the stage. He delivered.