ESPNU announcers Clay Matvick and Matt Stinchcomb criticized Oklahoma State for running up the score through continued passing and trick plays in its 58-14 rout of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Matvick, the play-by-play announcer, even speculated that Purdue faked its second punt of the game in the fourth quarter because the Boilermakers feared what the Cowboys would do to them.
Not once did the broadcasters discuss if a 6-6 Purdue team, which had a 3-5 record in the Big Ten Conference, even deserved to be in a bowl game. Clearly the Boilermakers weren't a worthy opponent for the inspired Cowboys.
“I think there's certainly a point in the ball game where the point has been made, victory is clearly in hand,” said Stinchcomb, a former Georgia All-America offensive lineman, after OSU had taken a 55-7 lead on backup quarterback J.W. Walsh's 37-yard pass to Blake Webb with 8:32 left. “I don't really understand what they are trying to get across. … The last thing you want to be is pitied, but at some point there is sportsmanship.”
“Oklahoma State has been relentless on Purdue here today,” said Matvick, adding he felt sorry for Purdue interim coach Patrick Higgins.
Third-string quarterback Wes Lunt then came in and threw three straight incomplete passes, supporting their argument.
Earlier, Stinchcomb criticized a razzle-dazzle pass from running back Joseph Randle to starting quarterback Clint Chelf that gained only one yard. OSU settled for a Quinn Sharp field goal.
“You're up 35-0; I think the game is pretty well in hand… I don't know if that was necessary.”
Both announcers spoke highly of Chelf, the player of the game, but Stinchcomb noted he wasn't much of a practice quarterback.
“Part of his problem is how he's performed in practice. He's a gamer. That's a positive. But when you only play hard once a week, it's hard to get you out there.
If he plays so well in games, you might wonder if he needs to practice that hard.”
After Chelf's second touchdown pass of the game, a 7-yard toss to Blake Jackson, Stinchcomb said, “Twice now we've seen him really put it into a tight window, throwing over coverage.”
He called freshman Josh Stewart, who caught five passes for 56 yards and returned a punt 64 yards, the Big 12's best returning receiver next season.
* Purdue dropped numerous passes, prompting studio analyst Dan Hawkins, a former Colorado coach, to poke fun at the Boilermakers at halftime. “It looked like Purdue was trying to catch rattlesnakes throwing the ball.”
* In a booth interview in the third quarter, the announcers grilled new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell on why he decided to coach Kent State in its bowl game Jan. 6 against Arkansas State. Hazell noted the tightness with his players and the fact the Golden Flashes hadn't been to a bowl in 40 years.
Asked about Purdue's dismal performance, Hazell said, “Too many turnovers and missed opportunities. When you're playing a good football team like Oklahoma State, it's hard.”
* ESPNU cameras caught NFL standouts Dez Bryant (OSU) and Drew Brees (Purdue) smiling on their team's sidelines.
* The broadcast offered few crowd shots and no panoramic shots, an indication of the poor turnout (listed as 48,313) at the Cotton Bowl.