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ABC play-by-play man Joe Tessitore calls both OU, OSU upsets

REMOTE PATROL — ABC play-by-play man Joe Tessitore might be banned from calling games for state schools after this weekend. Tessitore was behind the mic for both Oklahoma State's and Oklahoma's upset losses.
by Mel Bracht Published: November 20, 2011

On consecutive nights, play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore watched Oklahoma State's and Oklahoma's BCS title chances go up in flames by broadcasting the teams' upset losses. Tessitore appeared stunned by the turn of events after Robert Griffin III connected with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams with 8 seconds left to wrap up Baylor's 45-38 victory over Oklahoma.

“Robert Griffin III adds to his legacy with 479 yards and four touchdowns on a magical night,” Tessitore said.

Matt Millen, his analyst partner, was stunned by OU's strategy on Baylor's final drive when the Sooners called a timeout after a Baylor run in the closing minute.

“Keep in mind, (Baylor coach) Art Briles was willing to let the thing go,” said Millen.” He was going to run the clock out. They (the Sooners) tempted fate and fate answered with a six-point toss.”

“I'm still stuck on the timeout by Oklahoma,” Millen added later.

Earlier, Millen was surprised OU was going to for two points after Blake Bell's fourth touchdown run on the “Belldozer” formation with 51 seconds left. The Sooners changed their mind after an illegal procedure penalty and kicked the game-tying extra point. “That was a gutsy, gutsy call by Bob Stoops,” Millen said.

Tessitore, who had never called an OU or OSU game before this weekend, marveled at the four top 10 teams losing this weekend. “When the story of this college football season is told, they will remember this weekend,” he said.

Earlier in the game, he discussed what the losses were doing to the BCS standings. “Just when we thought everything was so simple and there was a clear path (to the title game), complete and utter chaos. And it starts in Ames, Iowa,” he said referring to OSU's 37-31, double-overtime loss to Iowa State.

It ended in Waco, Texas, with the Baylor Bears celebrating their first victory over OU, a fact that Tessitore mentioned at least a dozen times.

Both Tessitore and Millen marveled at Griffin's performance, which also included 72 rushing yards. “He has an athletic skill set that is unparalled in the sport right now,” Tessitore said.

Griffin also had some luck on his side when Kendall Wright hauled in a deflected pass for an 87-yard touchdown reception, which tied the game 24-24. “Sometimes you would rather be lucky than good!” Tessitore exclaimed. And Millen noted the play would be the top play on ESPN's“SportsCenter.”

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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