NCF Nation: Holiday 0830
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Coffman's father told the Kansas City Star that his son broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot on Missouri's final offensive play in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
The Tulsa World reported Wednesday that Robinson sustained a separated right shoulder in the second quarter of the Cowboys' 42-31 loss to Oregon in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. Robinson remained in the game and accounted for 383 total yards as he withstood several punishing hits after the original injury occurred.
Despite his injury, Coffman plans to continue with his preparations for the NFL draft.
"It shouldn't affect his draft status," Paul Coffman told the Star on Wednesday.
Coffman, predicted to be one of the first several tight ends picked in the upcoming NFL draft, still plans to take part in the NFL combine on Feb. 24. His injury will not require surgery, but has been immobilized in a cast.
The injury occurred on the same foot that Coffman has struggled with turf toe earlier this season. It came on the same play where Jeremy Maclin snagged the game-winning 7-yard touchdown pass from Chase Daniel, providing the winning margin for the Tigers' 30-23 overtime victory over Northwestern.
Even with his injury, Robinson surpassed his coach Mike Gundy's school record for total offense in a career. Robinson has 7,786 yards with one season of eligibility remaining. Gundy had 7,749 yards in his career, which ended in 1989.
The Cowboys also played much of the game without wide receiver Dez Bryant, who injured his knee in the second quarter. Even with the injury, Bryant still finished with a Holiday Bowl record 13 receptions despite missing much of the second half.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Happy New Year's Eve! Before partaking in the daylong feast of football tomorrow, here are a few links to get you ready.
- Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple writes that Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson was overcome with emotion when asked about coaching quarterback Joe Ganz's final game Thursday in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl against Clemson.
- A more mature Texas quarterback Colt McCoy prepares for Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Dallas Morning News Big 12 columnist Chuck Carlton writes.
- Texas Tech coach Mike Leach related his favorite Cotton Bowl memory as the Red Raiders prepare for the Jan. 2 game against Mississippi. Jackson Clarion-Ledger columnist Rick Cleveland told of how Leach left a dummy set of plays when he was an assistant at Oklahoma, hoping a Texas coach or player would stumble upon them and believe he had found the Rosetta Stone as far as cracking his spread offense.
- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will collect a $3 million bonus on New Year's Day, pushing his 2008 compensation over $6 million, the Tulsa World's John Hoover reports.
- With Dez Bryant playing on one gimpy leg and Zac Robinson struggling with a bum shoulder, Oklahoma State was stripped of many of its offensive weapons in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. But the Oklahoman's John Rohde writes that OSU coach Mike Gundy refused to use injuries as an excuse for his team's 42-31 loss to Oregon.
- Kansas is poised for big things next season with the return of most of its major offensive skill-position players and both starting tackles. But Kansas City Star reporter J. Brady McCollough writes that the most important returning item could be offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, who guides the team into tonight's Insight Bowl game against Minnesota.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Jeremiah Masoli helped power Oregon past Oklahoma State and claim the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
|Robert Benson/US Presswire|
|Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson looked lost after top receiver Dez Bryant was injured in the Cowboys' Holiday Bowl loss to Oregon.|
But the Ducks got a big assist Tuesday night from the shoddy turf at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego that helped contribute to their 42-31 victory over the Cowboys. The game changed late in the second half when playmaking OSU wide receiver Dez Bryant slipped on the turf, hurt his left knee and never recovered.
OSU jumped to a 10-0 lead, dominating the game early and rolling up almost 200 yards in the first quarter when Bryant helped key a 99-yard scoring drive to start the game. But after that, the Cowboys were bullied at the point of attack on both sides of the ball as the Ducks steadily won the game in the trenches.
Bryant still set a Holiday Bowl record with 13 receptions for 167 yards. But most of those came before the injury as he struggled to play with one healthy leg.
OSU's offense similarly turned around after Bryant left. The Cowboys were one-dimensional most of the game -- especially as Big 12 rushing leader Kendall Hunter struggled through a season-worst 37 rushing yards.
The Cowboys' defense clearly were hamstrung without defensive coordinator Tim Beckman, who left the program at the end of the season to take the Toledo head coaching job. Coach Mike Gundy tried to use his remaining coaches to fill in for Beckman, but the Cowboys couldn't cope with an Oregon offense that plowed through them for 303 rushing yards and 7.6 yards per rush.
It was amazing that the Cowboys did not choose to assign a player to spy on Masoli on every snap. The result was that the chunky Oregon quarterback gashed them for 99 yards and three rushing TDs while adding 259 passing yards and another score.
The Oregon defense did the rest, contributing 10 stops over OSU's final 12 possessions of the game to wrap up the victory.
OSU quarterback Zac Robinson provided a gutsy performance, but wasn't the same after Bryant left. Robinson withstood several huge hits, but remained in the game to contribute 403 of total offense.
The Cowboys finished the season 9-4, but better days appear to be ahead for them. Robinson, Hunter and Bryant all are expected back next season as OSU could be poised for a run at its first South Division title with more experience and an easier conference schedule.
A key will be to hire an experienced defensive coordinator who can help raise the performance levels of a group that allowed at least 504 yards in four of the last six games of the season.
And hope that won't scare them away.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
It looked like a potential Oklahoma State blowout. Then it became a swirl of momentum shifts.
|AP Photo/Denis Poroy|
|Oregon's Jeremiah Johnson, left, celebrates with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli after Johnson's 76-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State during the first quarter of the Holiday Bowl.|
And then Oregon just asserted itself with a physical brand of Pac-10 football that wore down the Cowboys.
In a battle of big-time offenses, the Ducks pounded the Cowboys with 307 of their 566 yards coming on the ground in a 42-31 victory in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
As for defense, the Ducks were vastly superior.
Before the game, a few of the Ducks defensive players -- namely All-American end Nick Reed -- groused about not getting respect.
When the Cowboys jumped to a 17-7 first-quarter lead, gaining nearly 200 yards in the process, their gripes made them look silly.
But Oklahoma State, which rushed for only 118 yards, scored just 14 points over the final three quarters.
So the Ducks defense, which pounded quarterback Zac Robinson and took control of the line of scrimmage, deserves nearly as much credit as an offense that scored 35 second-half points.
Now there is a huge qualifier: Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was the best player on the field in the first half. But he hurt his knee with about four minutes before halftime and, though he shifted in and out of the lineup, he wasn't the same player afterwards.
Bryant caught 13 passes for 167 yards but was a non-factor after the injury, and Robinson looked lost without him.
Meanwhile, Ducks sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, clearly out of sorts during the early action, carved up a physically overmatched Cowboys defense in the second half. He earned game MVP honors by rushing for 99 yards with three touchdowns -- running over Cowboy tacklers multiple times -- and passed for 259 yards and a touchdown.
The Ducks, ranked 15th in the final AP poll, finish the season at 10-3 -- their fourth 10-win season under coach Mike Bellotti -- and should receive top-10 consideration because of their mastery of the No. 13 Cowboys.
With the Pac-10 improving to 3-0 in the bowl season with two more to play, the so-called down season in the conference is looking more and more like a fluke of ambitious nonconference scheduling.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl gets the Pac-10 bowl season rolling again with a doozie. This might be the most entertaining game of the bowl season.
Who to watch: Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli
There's been lots of talk about both offenses, but Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson clearly enters as the matchup's marquee quarterback. If the game is going to be the scoring extravaganza that most expect, though, Masoli is going to have to make plays with both his legs and his arm. Much of the year, running was his thing -- see 612 yards rushing -- but late in the season, his passing picked up. If the Ducks are going to keep up, they need Masoli to create a passing threat.
What to watch: Dez Bryant vs. the D-Boyz
All-American receiver Dez Bryant is a force. The Oregon secondary was supposed to be one, too, this year, but results have been mixed. The Ducks gave up 24 touchdown passes, only grabbed 14 interceptions and allowed foes to complete 58 percent of their passes. This is a shot at redemption. And it's going to be hard to win if Bryant stretches the Ducks' defense and opens up running lanes.
Why to watch: If you like offense, this is the place to be. Both offenses rank in the nation's top eight in points and yards per game. In fact, if both hit their season averages -- which is possible because both defenses are mediocre -- then we'll see 84 points and 975 yards of production. Beyond that, it's two ranked teams trying to boost their respective conference's reputation. The Pac-10 is trying to redeem itself, its national perception hurt by posting a poor record against a tough nonconference schedule. The Big 12 has been touted as perhaps the nation's best conference all season, but it didn't play anyone out of conference. While it's dangerous to compare scores, keep in mind the Cowboys opened the season with a somewhat competitive game against Washington State, winning 39-13 and gaining 367 yards. A few weeks later, Oregon crushed the Cougars 63-14 and outgained them 507 yards to 271.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The Holiday Bowl should be one of the most entertaining games during this bowl season with two high-powered offenses and two defenses that struggled against top opposition. Brace yourself for a shootout with all of the top talent on both sides of the field.
Who to watch: Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson reverted to the form that made him one of the nation's best runners last season in the Cowboys' regular-season finale, gashing Oklahoma for a season-best 90 rushing yards. OSU will need Robinson's passing skills against a leaky Oregon defense, but he'll also need to make some improvisational plays with his feet. That balance will be particularly important against an Oregon defense that ranks 80th nationally in total defense and 108th in pass defense.
What to watch: Oklahoma State's special teams made big plays all season, with Dez Bryant leading the Big 12 in punt returns (17.9 yards per return), Perish Cox pacing the conference in kick returns (30.1 yards per return) and Matt Fodge earning the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter. With Tuesday's game against Oregon figuring to be as close as it appears, a clear advantage in special teams could propel the Cowboys to the victory.
Why to watch: The Holiday Bowl has developed a national reputation for entertaining offensive battles and tonight's game should be no exception. Both teams are in the top eight nationally in rushing, total offense and scoring. So it wouldn't be a stretch to see both teams combine for 1,000 yards of total offense and maybe even 100 total points. OSU must cope with Oregon's explosive offense without defensive coordinator Tim Beckman, who left after the season for the Toledo head coaching job. Coach Mike Gundy has divvied up his responsibilities among the remaining defensive assistants and it will be interesting to see how they respond against a high-powered attack like the Ducks have. Their work could determine whether OSU claims its 10th triumph this season for the first time since 1988 and only the fourth time in the 108-season history of the program.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
8:00 PM ET 20 Duke 1 Florida State 8:17 PM ET 2 Ohio State 10 Michigan State 4:00 PM ET 5 Missouri 3 Auburn 12:00 PM ET 17 Oklahoma 6 Oklahoma State 7:45 PM ET 7 Stanford 11 Arizona State 3:30 PM ET 25 Texas 9 Baylor 12:00 PM ET 16 UCF Southern Methodist 10:00 PM ET Utah State 23 Fresno State