Unlike the subpar Insight Bowl telecast Friday night, ESPN turned in a stellar performance in capturing OSU's 41-38 overtime victory in the Fiesta Bowl. Play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough and analyst Matt Millen were on target most of the night with their comments and there were no SkyCams falling from high above the field.
McDonough, who voted for Stanford's Andrew Luck for the Heisman Trophy, perhaps went overboard in expressing his fondness for the junior quarterback he felt clearly was the best player in the country.
“A lot of Andrew Luck's career doesn't seem fair,” McDonough said after Quinn Sharp's game-winning field goal, “I can't believe he didn't win a Heisman and it doesn't seem right that he leaves on a loss on a night when he throws for 347 yards and he had only four incomplete passes all night.”
Earlier in the game, McDonough noted that Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor had much quicker receivers than Luck. He failed to mention that Luck had a fumbled exchange near the Stanford goalline that set up an OSU field goal.
Millen noted that OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon had outstanding performances.
“Both of the quarterbacks lived up to all we thought they'd be,” he said. “Blackmon delivered exactly what we thought he'd do. Great players show up in big games.”
ESPN's best shot of the telecast was Stanford redshirt freshman kicker Jordan Williamson, who pulled two kicks, sitting on the bench with his head down as OSU drove for the winning score.
“You have to feel for him regardless of whichever team you're cheering for,” McDonough said.
Blackmon, the Fiesta Bowl MVP, was shut out in the first and third quarters, which Millen noted to start the fourth quarter. “You don't want to put him in the witness protection program. You got to get the ball to him ASAP and as often as you can.”
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