Although it was only a pay-view-view telecast with a limited audience, Fox Sports Oklahoma treated the Florida A&M-OU game like a network telecast with an excellent broadcast highlighted by the commentary of Dave Lapham.
Lapham, a former Cincinnati Bengals lineman who also is an radio analyst on Bengals games, provided his usual colorful comments. It's befuddling that Fox has taken him off its national broadcasts. He's better than 90 percent of the college football analysts.
Lapham was impressed with Damien Williams' versatility in rushing for four touchdowns and 156 yards to earn FSOK's Player of the Game honors. “He's shown speed and he's shown power.”
A former lineman, Lapham also was quick to credit fullback Trey Millard's blocking on Williams' touchdown runs. “He's an honorary member of the Hogs. … It's like having an extra guard in the backfield the way he knocked bodies around.”
Other examples of Lapham's analysis:
* On Justin Brown, who is bigger than most punt returners: “This guy has good hands. At 6-3, 210 pounds, he goes north and south very decisively.”
* On new offensive coordinator Mike Stoops keeping the OU defense simple: “Don't try to teach them trigonometry and calculus until you make sure they have Algebra 1 figured out.”
* On head coach Bob Stoops' happiness in having his brother back in charge of the defense. “Football is all about trust and Bob Stoops trusts everything about Mike.”
* On receiver Trey Metoyer's large hands. “Metoyer has Triple XL gloves. The guy is almost like a cartoon as big as his hands are. From the little finger to his thumb, he could probably palm a ruler.”
* On the six-bar face mask on 6-6, 318-pound reserve defensive tackle Jordan Phillips: “I think you could cook cheeseburgers on that bad boy. A little propane gas and you got a grilling going.”
Play-by-play announcer Bill Land, a former Tulsa sportscaster, was expecting the rout. After OU's second touchdown and the Sooner Schooner raced around the field, he said, “Make sure the horses get hydrated. They could be busy tonight.”
In partnership with Sooner Sports TV, the broadcast offered viewers an inside look at the game. In the pregame, viewers got to see the tradition-rich videoboard intro and the OU players run onto the field. At halftime, a portion of the OU band's performance was shown.
The “Sooner Sports Overtime” postgame show included analysis from former OU lineman Dusty Dvoracek and Bob Stoops' press conference. Dvorcek was disappointed with OU's line play against the outmanned Rattlers. “You got to find a way to dominate the line of scrimmage,” he said.
Sideline reporter Chad McKee was busy with interviews, including OU women's basketball coach Sherri Coale and OU President David Boren and, in the postgame, Damien Williams and Justin Brown.
However, the biggest star was a visit from Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, who stopped by just as McKee was preparing to interview men's basketball coach Lon Kruger. Griffin talked about addressing the football team at practice on Friday. “I literally told them to score more points than the other team,” Griffin said.
Lapham said Griffin was well-received by the players during their practice in the basketball complex. “He came in like he was a Hollywood star. It's like they had met Santa Claus.”
It wasn't a good day for Big 12 defectors Texas A&M and Missouri, who lost their SEC debuts in two of the day's most exciting telecasts.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit was impressed with Florida's second-half turnaround in rallying from a 17-7 deficit to win. “Give Will Muschamp and his staff a lot of credit. They came out (in the second half) with a different attitude. … Florida has kept (Texas A&M quarterback Johnny) Manziel in the pocket the entire second half.”
* On Missouri's failed fake punt on fourth and 11 from its own territory in the fourth quarter, play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore exclaimed, “Can you believe that call?”
* On ESPN's “College GameDay,” Herbstreit picked Arizona to defeat OSU in a late telecast. The Pac-12 Network game aired only on the Dish network in Oklahoma.