ABC sportscasters Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge earned high marks for keeping the marathon, four-hour OU-Texas telecast interesting when the game — for all practical purposes — was over only an hour into the telecast.
The pair discussed the usual Red River Rivalry tradition stories, the unusual fried food items at the Texas State Fair and OU quarterback Landry Jones' marriage to OU basketball player Whitney Hand. But most of all they talked about how impressed they were with the Sooners, whom they hinted would be in the national title chase if not for their loss to Kansas State.
“Even though they are behind West Virginia and Kansas State in the standings, I still think they are the best team in the league because of the strength of their offensive line and defensive line,” Blackledge said in the second quarter.
“I didn't expect this,” he said in the fourth quarter. “I thought Oklahoma was a little better (than Texas) going in. I think they are a lot better going out.”
And later, he told Nessler, “We've not seen a better team.”
The Sooners' first-half domination surprised the pair.
“I don't know if I've been part of a more one-sided half of football since we've been together,” Blackledge said to Nessler as the Sooner took a 36-2 lead.
After an ABC NASCAR promo, Nessler quipped, “If this were a NASCAR race, there would be a crash on Turn 3.”
When the Sooners took a 63-15 lead, Nessler said OU shouldn't be criticized for running up the score. “It's not the Sooners' fault that they are over 60 points now. They are just running basic plays and nobody is tackling them."
Later, he said, “When your kicker has an ice pack, you know it's been a long game for the other team.”
Nessler produced his usual colorful comments that make him one of the best play-by-play announcers in college football.
On Damien Williams' 95-yard touchdown run: “The wide receivers got some great blocks for him on the longest run of his life.”
After Blake Bell's TD run gave the Sooners a 20-2 lead: “If you're a Sooner fan, you got to be back happy with the way the Belldozer is mulching today.”
* One of ABC's few mistakes came when a man on the OU sidelines was misidentified as former Sooner quarterback Steve Davis, whose OU quarterback victory record was broken by Jones on Saturday. However, they corrected the mistake and sideline reporter Holly Rowe interviewed Davis.
* Blackledge, a former Penn State quarterback, said during pregame workouts he hugged OU receiver Justin Brown, who transferred to OU from Penn State this summer. He said Brown asked him, “You don't hate me, do you?” Blackledge said, “No, bro, I'm happy for you.”
* Blackledge said he expected that OU was developing a jump pass in the Belldozer formation, similar to what Tim Tebow did as Florida quarterback.
* FSN named OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh its player of the game as OSU held off Kansas, 20-14. “In only his second collegiate start, he jump-started their sluggish offense in the second quarter,” analyst Brian Baldinger said. As the Jayhawks drove for a possible winning touchdown, he noted, “It looks to me like Kansas is winning the line of scrimmage.”
* Notre Dame survived to defeat Stanford on a goal-line stand in overtime, setting up a likely prime-time showdown at Oklahoma on Oct. 27. “It was a goal-line stand for the ages,” NBC announcer Tom Hammond said. “It even had to go to the replay booth and it was a close call.”
* On ESPN's “College GameDay,” guest picker Vince Vaughn and analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit all picked the Sooners over the Longhorns.