ESPN2 broadcasters did their best to hold OU-Baylor audience

Oklahoma's rout of Baylor tested Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham's ability to hold their audience
by Mel Bracht Modified: November 21, 2010 at 7:04 am •  Published: November 20, 2010

After Oklahoma coasted to a 34-7 halftime lead against Baylor, ESPN2 broadcasters Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham were scrambling to keep viewers interested in the second half. They even interviewed ESPN BCS analyst Brad Edwards by phone as the Sooners scored on Ronnell Lewis' 12-yard interception return to start the third quarter.

Cunningham said he thought OU coach Bob Stoops should bench quarterback Landry Jones midway through the third quarter because the game was so lopsided.

With the impressive offensive show, OU improved to 20-0 against Baylor.

“You get a sense with (Baylor coach) Art Briles and the energy that he brings, that's not going to last,” Cunningham said. “Though, maybe not next year, with all those good freshmen (on the Sooners).”

Cunningham had high praises for several OU freshmen after touchdowns plays.

On Roy Finch's 8-yard TD run in which he planted a hand to keep his balance: “That's a wonderful athletic move by Finch. He showed wonderful balance.”

On Kenny Stills' 49-yard TD reception in which a pass interference penalty was declined: “That was such a veteran move by Stills. The ball was underthrown by Landry Jones. He slowed down until the defender bumped him, then he went and finished it.”

Looking ahead to the Bedlam game, Cunningham said he was expecting “a game for the ages. I think both of those offenses are amazing.”

OSU IMPRESSES LAPHAM

FSN analyst Dave Lapham also brought up the Bedlam game late in OSU's 48-14 victory over Kansas. He said the Sooners needed to defend the Cowboys explosive offense like Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts offense and try to keep it off the field. “The Oklahoma defense is going to have to force Oklahoma State to punt the football, get some takeaways and limit possessions,” he said. “Oklahoma is going to have to get the running game going.”

Lapham, who has called several OSU games this season, noted the problems that the Cowboys' balanced offense presents defenses.

“It's like I don't have enough fingers to block the holes in the dike,” Lapham said. “I go after (Justin) Blackmon and (Kendall) Hunter hurts me. I go after those two guys and (Josh) Cooper hurts me. You can't defend everybody you have to defend; this offense is so prolific.”

Lapham said Cooper, catching nine passes for 94 yards Saturday, had joined the triplets of quarterback Brandon Weeden, Blackmon and Hunter “to make it a quad.”

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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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