Mike Gundy's decision saved the Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl
BERRY TRAMEL COMMENTARY — With the Fiesta Bowl on the line, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy decided to go for it on 4th-and-3 and to put the ball into the hands of his stars, Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden.
Videoview all videos
Jan 3Justin Blackmon and the Cowboys never led until the final...
Photoview all 124 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Weeden completed 29 of 42 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns. It would have been 400 yards and four TDs had his last completion, the overtime strike to Colton Chelf, stood as a touchdown instead of brought back to the 1-yard line.
So Gundy absolutely made the right call in putting the game in Weeden's hands. And here's the ultimate test. If Stanford could make the decision for OSU, which would the Cardinal prefer? Punt, no doubt about it.
Now, Gundy has his brain-lock moments, too. He told me after the game that if OSU hadn't scored so quickly on that last drive – the TD came with 2:35 left, three plays after the fourth down conversion – he would have ordered a two-point conversion.
“Overtime plays into their hands, with their offense,” Gundy said. “Our offense is based on tempo and the spread. We get a lot of our plays on big strikes.” And the compressed field of overtime limits big strikes.
That's all true. And why you don't go for two. The field is more compressed at the 3-yard line, for a two-point conversion, than at the 25 in overtime. The Cowboys had dented the Stanford 10-yard line three times and scored only one touchdown without trickery. Had to settle for a field goal once, had to resort to the first quarterback draw of Weeden's career for a TD.
Plus, the Cowboys had a clear kicking advantage. Jordan Williamson had only pulled one field goal at that point, but OSU's Quinn Sharp clearly had the game's best foot. No reason to disable that advantage.
Fortunately, Gundy went for the tie. Even more fortunately, moments earlier, he asked his best players to go for the win.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 87104Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16817OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 12528Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 12075Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 9682Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 8951Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 8846Oklahoma tornadoes: Love for Oklahoma generates big donation