ESPN's coverage of Oklahoma's 48-20 victory over Connecticut in Saturday's Fiesta Bowl was nothing if not consistent in two areas.
* 1. Sharp-tongued announcers Sean McDonough and Matt Millen were pulling no punches in praising or condemning both teams.
* 2. The network was hell-bent on making sure viewers were aware of OU's record in BCS bowl games.
While McDonough was matter-of-fact with his well-informed offerings, Millen was even more brazen with his.
But before viewers could get a listen to either of them, the Sooners' 2-5 record in BCS bowl games had already been repeated ad nauseum … and it was still being bandied around in the postgame visit with Bob Stoops.
ESPN's intro to the broadcast kick-started it all.
“Well Oklahoma, this must seem familiar. A Big 12 championship – your fourth in five years. Favored to defeat an alleged overmatched opponent once again. But you know better than anyone that hard reality of letting an underdog sneak up and bite you in the heart when it counts.”
The plain-speak didn't slow from that point. Early on, Millen played off a commercial promoing ESPN 3D to lambaste UConn's offense (or praise OU's defense, depending on who you favor).
“Whatever (this game) is in, 2D or 3D, hey you could put it in 4D, whatever, it doesn't look good to UConn tonight.”
At the half, Millen minced no words declaring the game one-sided despite the 20-10 score.
Said McDonough: “Oklahoma feels like they have dominated this game from start to finish.”
Quipped Millen: “And they should. Because they have.”
The third quarter brought Millen's best line of the night. After OU running back DeMarco Murray was stopped on a third-and-1 by a submarine tackle from UConn safety Jerome Junior despite the fact that Murray was never technically down because he was sitting atop Junior on the ground, Millen pounced during the replay:
“He's not down … still not down … not down. He could have still gotten up. Instead he uses him as a chair.”
McDonough was less acerbic, but had plenty of sharp drop-ins. On the Huskies' inability to react to OU's fast-paced, no-huddle offense, McDonough was prepared with a comment from UConn assistant coach Hank Hughes: