Oklahoma State Edges Stanford, 41-38, In Overtime to Win Fiesta Bowl
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck saved the best for last, going 27 for 31 for 347 yards and two touchdowns in what was probably his last college football game.
But his stellar effort wasn’t enough as Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson missed three field goals -- including one at the end of regulation and another in overtime -- and opened the door for Oklahoma State’s exciting 41-38 overtime win in Monday's Fiesta Bowl.
After struggling early, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden found his rhythm and brought the Cowboys back into the game, including a fourth quarter drive to tie the game at 38 with 2:35 to go. But Luck responded, driving the Cardinal 63 yards to set up a potential game-winning 35-yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock. But Williamson’s kick hooked wide left, sending the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Stanford couldn’t move the ball, giving Williamson another shot with a 43-yarder to take the lead. But he again pulled the ball to the left, giving Oklahoma State its chance for the win. Four plays later, Cowboys kicker Quinn Sharp split the uprights on a 22-yard field goal for the win, giving Oklahoma State its first BCS bowl victory and first 12-win season in school history.
Brandon Weeden started slowly, throwing an interception on his first snap and then gaining just 27 yards on the next three drives. But he found his stride and led three consecutive touchdown drives in the second quarter to tie the game at 21-21 at halftime. After falling behind again in the second half, the 28-year old senior then led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to send the game into overtime.
Weeden finished with 399 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also added his first career rushing touchdown on a two-yard quarterback sneak late in the second quarter. The Cowboys needed every one of Weeden's passing yards as they were able to manage just 13 yards on the ground.
Oklahoma State’s star wide receiver Justin Blackmon was named Player of the Game after catching eight passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. The junior announced after the game that he would be entering next spring’s NFL draft.
Luck had arguably the best game of his career in the loss. He was a remarkable 15 of 15 on the Cardinal’s five touchdown drives. Running back Stepfan Taylor added 177 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against a Cowboys’ defense that came into the game ranked 85th against the run and 106th in total defense. Stanford moved the ball virtually at will, rolling up 590 yards in total offense, compared to Oklahoma State’s 412. But, after a slow start, the Cowboys’ offense flipped the switch and scored on seven of its final nine possessions.
Oklahoma State will now watch the BCS National Championship Game with great interest. Given the narrow margin in the AP poll between Alabama and Oklahoma State, there is a slim chance that, if Alabama beats LSU in the title game, the Cowboys could backdoor their way into a shared national championship.