Thursday, January 12, 2012
Fiesta Bowl: Best and worst
By Kevin Gemmell
The rest of the blogs are recapping the best and worst of the conference bowl season. There's only one game to look at for Stanford. And even though most fans probably don't want to revisit the Fiesta Bowl, it's still worth busting out a bag of Tostitos and taking a look back at the highs and lows.
Best overall performance (offense):Stepfan Taylor certainly deserves a look for his 177 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. But Andrew Luck's swan song was just superb. Yes, he had the one interception. But outside of that, his performance was outstanding, 27-of-31 for 347 yards and two touchdowns. It was the big game we expected from him in a big game -- including 15-for-15 on Stanford's scoring drives and 4-for-4 on the final drive in regulation.
Best overall performance (defense): I thought linebacker Jarek Lancaster, who was already having a great season, took a huge step forward. His open-field tackling was clutch and he led the team with seven solo tackles.
Jeremy Stewart, left, played a little defense to keep teammate Ty Montgomery from bringing out this kick.
Best unconfirmed report: Rumor has it a reporter tried to approach Jordan Williamson in the locker room after the game. Naturally, the kicker wasn't feeling chatty. Allegedly, a Stanford offensive lineman who will remain nameless made sure the kicker wouldn't be bothered. We all have jobs to do, but there are limits when dealing with college kids. Nice to see teammates stick up for each other.
Best moment for me: Talking with Cameron Fleming's mother, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel stationed in the Mideast, about her efforts to make it back for the game. Very cool.
Funniest moment: Who didn't laugh when Jeremy Stewart laid out Ty Montgomery after he tried to take a kickoff from deep in the end zone?
Best postgame quote (it wasn't exactly a sitcom-writers' room after the game): Tight end Coby Fleener, who missed the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. "Well, I'm standing up, so I've got that going for me."
Worst feeling in the world: Knowing exactly what Justin Blackmon is going to do, then watching him do it eight times for 186 yards and three scores.
Worst time for the Wildcat to go wrong: Two plays, -4 yards.
Best forgotten performance: With all of the Luck/Taylor talk, easy to forget that Montgomery -- when he wasn't getting laid out by teammates -- caught seven balls for 120 yards and a score. Only he and Blackmon crossed the 100-yard receiving mark. And when your name is mentioned with a two-time Biletnikoff winner, you're in pretty good company.