HIGGINS: ‘WHOLE SITUATION HAS BEEN AWKWARD'
Danny Hope, who coached Purdue all season and was recently let go, was in attendance at Tuesday's game. So was newly hired coach Darrell Hazell.
And Patrick Higgins, interim coach for the bowl game, admitted it left him in a strange situation.
“This whole situation has been awkward, you know. There's nothing normal about where the head coach gets let go, the new coach is there,” Higgins said. “Coach Hope came in the locker room today. Again, this was his team that he coached the whole year. It was good for him to be in there with them.
“I have not seen coach Hazell today, but hopefully he knows he's getting a bunch of quality kids to coach.”
ALUMNI IN ACTION
Dallas Cowboys teammates Dez Bryant and Kyle Orton were on hand Tuesday to support their former teams.
Orton, the former Purdue quarterback and current backup to Tony Romo, was said to be in the press box.
Bryant, suffering from back spasms, was on the sideline using crutches. He spent Sunday night in a hospital after injuring his back in the loss to Washington.
Another former Purdue QB, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, was also on the sideline for the game.
RACE TO A MILLION
The Heart of Dallas and Gator bowls were going head-to-head on Tuesday, not just in the 11 a.m. time slot.
The Heart of Dallas Bowl media officials announced prior to kickoff that if the game was to draw 42,385 or more fans and “finishes or announces its attendance before the Gator Bowl today,” the Heart of Dallas Bowl could claim the 1,000,000th fan of the 2012-13 bowl season.
With the attendance of 48,313 announced during the second quarter, it is believed the Heart of Dallas Bowl can claim the honor.
A little bit of bowl game superstition showed itself in the Cowboys' all-black uniform combination — identical to the uniforms they wore in the Fiesta Bowl win over Stanford season.
OSU wore all black once earlier this season, but that combination included a Pistol Pete helmet logo, rather than the orange OSU logo worn in the bowl games.
OSU kicker Quinn Sharp closed an impressive career on Tuesday, adding three field goals and six extra points to reach 301 career points, fourth-most in school history. For his career, he was 50-of-58 on field goals and 151-of-152 on extra points... The season average of 547 yards per game for OSU this season is the highest in school history... Daytawion Lowe's fumble return touchdown in the third quarter was the Cowboys' first defensive touchdown of the season... OSU is now 15-8 in bowl games and 5-2 under Gundy... The 44-point victory was the second-largest margin of victory in a bowl game by a Big 12 Conference team all-time, behind Nebraska's 66-17 win over Northwestern in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.