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NFL defenses get next shot at trying to stop Justin Blackmon

by Jenni Carlson Modified: January 3, 2012 at 12:55 am •  Published: January 3, 2012

Stanford coach David Shaw and one of his assistants mentioned in the lead up to the Fiesta Bowl that they had to stop Blackmon first and foremost. Rare is the team that doesn't want to stop the run first, but the Cardinal knew that Blackmon was that good, that influential.

The truth is, the only ones that could stop Blackmon were the Cowboys. They almost didn't throw it to him enough. Blackmon had no catches in the first or third quarters.

It was no coincidence that OSU had no touchdowns in either quarter.

Then, his first two touches went for touchdowns, a 43-yarder and a 67-yarder. Just like that, he became the first receiver to have more than a 100 yards receiving against the Stanford defense this season.

He finished the game with eight catches.

He should've had 18.

Every time he caught the ball, he gained an average of 23.3 yards. And there was no reason to think if the Cowboys would've thrown it to him 10 or 12 more times that he wouldn't have been able to keep up that pace.

The Cardinal had no answer for him. No defense did.

Maybe the guys in the NFL will have a little more success.

Even when Stanford knew that OSU was going to go to Blackmon, it couldn't stop him. Down a touchdown and facing fourth-and-3 in the game's final minute, he made the biggest play of the game. He caught a pass from Weeden and went 21 yards not only to get the first down but also to push OSU into Stanford territory.

The Cowboys scored three plays later.

“He takes pride in his one-on-one matchups,” Weeden said. “If I know it's one-on-one, there's no one I'd rather throw it to.”

Word before the game was that Blackmon was dealing with some sort of inner thigh infection.

Whatever that is, it required some antibiotics, but it's hard to believe anything would've kept Blackmon off the field.

It was a field where he showed once again just how special he is.

Good enough to be the best player on the pitch.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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