OSU comes back to beat Stanford in Fiesta Bowl
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
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GLENDALE, Ariz. - Statistically, this was a mismatch.
Stanford had a 230-yard advantage in rushing yards. Stanford had the sensationally methodical Andrew Luck, who was 27-of-31 passing for 347 yards and two touchdowns.
And yet - amazingly, miraculously, unbelievably - Oklahoma State prevailed in Monday night's Fiesta Bowl.
On the final play of regulation, Stanford's Jordan Williamson missed on a 35-yard field goal.
In overtime, Williamson missed on a 43-yard field goal.
And on the final play of the season - after a walk-on quarterback (Brandon Weeden) passed for 24 yards to a walk-on wide receiver (Colton Chelf) - OSU's Quinn Sharp converted on a 22-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 41-38 victory witnessed by a University of Phoenix Stadium crowd of 69,927.
"Great game," Luck said, "but obviously very disappointing."
Referring to Williamson's 35-yard try, OSU coach Mike Gundy said, "I had this feeling that we would block it or he would miss it. I felt like something good would happen for us."
For the first time, the Cowboys recorded a 12-win record.
Gundy recently described Weeden as the best quarterback and Justin Blackmon as the best wide receiver in OSU football history. Gundy's assessment was supported by what transpired in the Fiesta Bowl.
In addition to rushing for the first and only touchdown of his college career, the 28-year-old Weeden passed for 399 yards and connected with Blackmon for three touchdowns.
Voted the game's offensive MVP, Blackmon had eight receptions for 186 yards. This was the OSU finale for Weeden, a senior. Following the game, Blackmon, a fourth-year junior, acknowledged that he will enter the 2012 NFL draft.
"Brandon was putting the ball on the spot," Blackmon said. "I'm just glad to celebrate this with my teammates."
OSU won in spite of having rushed for only 13 yards on 15 attempts, but Joseph Randle did score the tying touchdown - on a 4-yard run - with 2:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Stanford's Stepfan Taylor ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinal (11-2) had 590 total yards. The Cowboys had 412. Stanford was 8-of-12 on third-down conversions. OSU was 4-of-12.
In effect, Weeden's OSU career began with an all-black uniform game - the 2009 Colorado game, when, as a sophomore seeing his first meaningful playing time, he rallied the Cowboys to victory with a memorably excellent second half. His career ended with the Fiesta Bowl - during which the Cowboys again were clad in all black, and during which they again were saved by more Weeden heroics.
"The first quarter wasn't very good for us tonight," Weeden said. "We bounced back."
During the regular season, Oklahoma State had a first-quarter scoring advantage of 170-36. During Monday's opening period, with Weeden seemingly confused by a variety of Stanford coverages, the Cowboys were scoreless while mustered only 27 total yards and one first down.
On his first pass attempt of the game, Weeden was intercepted by Cardinal safety Devon Carrington. OSU was saved, however, when end Richetti Jones sacked Andrew Luck for a third-down loss of 8 yards - knocking Stanford out of field goal range.
With 4:16 remaining in the first quarter, on a play-action deep ball, Luck found wide-open Ty Montgomery for a 53-yard touchdown.
During the opening quarter - OSU's only scoreless first quarter of the season - Blackmon didn't have a catch. Randle carried twice for a net gain of 1 yard. At the midway mark of the second period, Stanford's Jeremy Stewart rolled 24 yards for an easy touchdown run.
The Cardinal had surged to a 14-0 cushion - OSU's greatest deficit since trailing 20-3 at Texas A&M on Sept. 24.
Down two touchdowns, OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken ordered a faster pace. Finally, the Cowboy offense began to click. After a 29-yard throw to Chelf, Weeden connected with Blackmon for a 43-yard score. Less than three minutes later, Weeden drilled an 8-yard pass to Blackmon on a slant pattern, but Stanford's Terrence Brown failed on the tackle attempt and Blackmon escaped to complete a 67-yard touchdown play.
During the final 2:25 of the half, there were two additional scores. Luck's perfectly thrown 31-yard toss to Griff Whalen was followed by Taylor's 4-yard TD run.
The Cowboys answered with a nine-play, 77-yard drive that included a 28-yard catch by Chelf and a 23-yarder by Blackmon.
The possession ended with a stunning play. With 27 seconds remaining in the half, on third-and-goal from the Stanford 2-yard line, Weeden executed a read-and-go play, keeping the football over left tackle and fighting his way into the end zone.
It was the first designed run of Weeden's OSU career, and it was the first touchdown by a Cowboy quarterback since 2009, when Zac Robinson was a senior. Weeden's TD resulted in a 21-21 tie at halftime.
Original Print Headline: Comeback kick
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
OSU's Justin Blackmon finished Monday's Fiesta Bowl with three touchdown catches and 186 yards receiving in his final game with the Cowboys. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck threw two touchdowns and one interception Monday against Oklahoma State. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon runs for a touchdown ahead of Stanford’s Michael Thomas on Monday. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden reaches the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half on Monday. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Brandon Weeden celebrates his score. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
OSU fans Maddie Williams and Cash Parsons cheer a Cowboys touchdown. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Stanford’s Jeremy Stewart runs for a touchdown as he his pursued by OSU’s Andrae May (left) and Markelle Martin. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World