A week after ABC analyst Ed Cunningham advised OU coaches to junk the Belldozer formation, FSN commentator J.C. Pearson complimented Blake Bell's running ability on his 55-yard touchdown run that provided the Sooners with needed cushion in their 42-34 victory over Baylor.
“How about the speed of the big man?” said Pearson, a former NFL defensive back who played with Bell's uncle, Mike Bell, for the Kansas City Chiefs. “He showed patience also to set up the backside blocking … then he outruns the entire Baylor defense.”
FSN then showed Bell bumping into OU coach Bob Stoops during the celebration and sideline reporter Laura McKeeman, the reigning Miss Florida, overstated it saying, “He gave him a little hardcore stuff.”
FSN made OU quarterback Landry Jones its player of the game, sponsored by a national hamburger chain. “I think he should take the entire offensive line out to buy them a Whataburger, or four,” play-by-play announcer Steve Physioc said. “Baylor has got to him only one time.”
Both announcers gave rare praise to a fullback, Aaron Ripkowski, for his “clear out” blocks on Bell's run and a 17-yard TD run by Damien Williams. “Is that a perfect name for a football player?” Physioc asked.
They also gave the OU defense kudos for holding the Bears to 172 yards passing, their first game under 300 yards this season. “In the pass-happy Big 12,” Physioc said, “that's like ‘Are you kidding me?'” Pearson added, “They have done a good job this year of not giving up the big play.”
At the same time in Stillwater, underrated ABC announcers Dave LaMont and Kelly Stouffer were on top of their game in calling the Cowboys' 55-34 victory over West Virginia.
However, the telecast was hurt by not having a sideline reporter. Former Cowboys stars Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper were shown on the sidelines, and it would have been nice to get a few comments from them on their rookie seasons in the NFL.
Stouffer, a former Seattle Seahawks quarterback, marveled at OSU third-string quarterback Clint Chelf's precise passing. “You see how Chelf gets the ball out on time,” he said. “When an outlet receiver is sitting there, he doesn't make him wait.”
LaMont noted OSU might have a three quarterback battle in spring practice. “Wes Lunt, his skill set they like, but good luck with that decision,” Stouffer said.
On Josh Stewart's amazing dive into the end zone on a 20-yard reception, “I would give him a helmet sticker just for that last effort on the touchdown. That was tremendous.”
The announcers marveled at Justin Gilbert's amazing burst on his 96-yard kickoff return. Stouffer said the turf pellets “rooster-tailed behind him” and LaMont said, “That was unbelievable zero to 60 speed.”
Neither had a good word to say about OSU's gray uniforms. “The gray uniforms are difficult to see the numbers,” Stouffer said. “I wish they would have gone with another combination.”
ABC showed numerous shots of West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen screaming on the sideline, making me wonder if he might be the angriest head coach in America.
In one of his few mistakes, Stouffer was confused when Holgorsen was shown after OSU recovered a West Virginia onside kick in the third quarter. “Dana Holgorsen has a big sigh of relief,” he said.
After No. 15 Texas A&M upset top-ranked Alabama 29-24, CBS announcer Verne Lundquist said, “The dream of defending (national title) has probably died for Alabama.” Hedging on Lundquist's prediction, analyst Gary Danielson noted Notre Dame and Kansas State still had some tough games to play.
Danielson gave plenty of credit to Aggies redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel for the upset. “Did Johnny Football put himself in position to be a Heisman Trophy winner?” Maybe he should check with ABC announcer Brent Musburger, who has already given the trophy to Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.