Markelle Martin has had a knack for making impact plays in bowl games.
In last season's Alamo Bowl against Arizona, he returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown and was named the game's Defensive MVP. The year before that, he had a monster hit on Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead on an interception return by Lucien Antoine in the Cotton Bowl.
What's so special about those bowl games?
“I don't know,” Martin said. “I just go out there and have fun. It defines the moment of the game. Lucky for me, I had the opportunities and made the most of them.
“That's what we preach — go out there and make your plays.”
LUCK WON'T BET HE'LL BE FIRST DRAFT PICK
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is almost a sure bet to be the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL Draft.
But don't tell Luck that.
“Who knows if I'll be the first pick or not?” Luck said. “There's a lot of time till then. I don't really think about it, to be honest.”
When a reporter said he would bet Luck $1 that he would indeed be taken first, Luck joked, “I can't do that. I'm an NCAA student-athlete.”
TULSA INTERCEPTION TOPS BRODRICK BROWN'S LIST
Brodrick Brown became a YouTube sensation when he leapt into the Oklahoma sideline last season and batted a Landry Jones pass to Shaun Lewis for an interception.
He's continued to have a flair for the spectacular play this season. Of Brown's five interceptions this season, three required exceptional athleticism.
He read a route and jumped in front of Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller to snag the pick. He came out of nowhere against Tulsa to run down the interception. He leapt into the air and won the battle with OU's Jaz Reynolds for the ball in the end zone.
Brown's favorite interception? The one against Tulsa.
“People talk about the Tulsa one,” Brown said. “They were like, ‘Where did you come from?' and things like that. I think on that play, I showed some speed. It was a trick play, and I came a long way to get that interception.”
ANOTHER HONOR FOR GUNDY
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has earned another coaching award. Gundy has been named American Football Monthly's 2011 National Coach of the Year.
This is Gundy's second national coach of the year honor. He was honored as the Eddie Robinson Award winner by the Football Writers Association of America earlier this month.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHAUN LEWIS
Lewis celebrated his 20th birthday on Wednesday.
The OSU sophomore linebacker said having a birthday so close to Christmas tends to mean less gifts, but he felt like he got a special treat this year — being at a BCS bowl.
"I wouldn't mind doing this again on my birthday the next two years," he said.
IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
Martin's favorite Christmas gift wasn't one he received but rather one that he gave his toddler son, Isaac.
A motorized police car.
The Cowboy safety said Isaac loved it so much that he refused to get out of the car and opened other gifts while sitting in it.
"He still hasn't found the siren," Martin said. "We'll leave it that way."
JAMIE BLATNICK NEEDS A MAP — FOR THE SCOTTSDALE MALL
The Cowboys have had a fair amount of free time during their stay in Scottsdale, which has given the players a chance to explore the city.
On Tuesday, Jamie Blatnick ventured out to the local mall. And it was quite the adventure.
“If they didn't have maps, I would be lost in there for a week,” Blatnick said. “That place is huge. I thought ‘This is ridiculous.'”
Blatnick also tried a new activity with his teammates — shuffleboard.
“Never played that before,” he said. “Not too shabby at it.”