Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics
NCAA FOOTBALL BOWLS PAGE
(Sports Network) - Luck was apparently on the Cowboys' side.
Oklahoma State never led in regulation of the Fiesta Bowl, but the Big 12 champions didn't have to in pulling out a wild, 41-38, overtime victory over the Stanford Cardinal.
Andrew Luck was in line to end his stellar Stanford career with a second straight BCS bowl victory, but Jordan Williamson missed a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the fourth quarter.
The fourth-ranked Cardinal (11-2) failed to net any yards on the first possession of overtime, and Williamson was wide left for the third time of the night on the ensuing 43-yard attempt.
Colton Chelf appeared to catch a game-winning 25-yard score two plays later, but was pulled down at the one-foot line after hauling in Brandon Weeden's pass over the middle.
The replay reversal of Chelf's touchdown simply delayed the inevitable, as Quinn Sharp's 22-yard chip shot split the uprights to secure the first 12-win season in Oklahoma State (12-1) history.
"It was a great feeling just to get the opportunity," said Sharp, who could relate to Williamson's rough night. Sharp missed a kick at the end of regulation in Oklahoma State's only loss this season, a two-overtime decision at Iowa State on November 18.
"It's not an easy feeling. Everything comes down to you. You are the last one. It is on the line," Sharp said of the game-winning kick.
Weeden completed 29-of-42 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns, all to Justin Blackmon, who announced his intentions to enter the NFL Draft after his sensational eight-catch, 186-yard performance.
"I think we have the best team in the nation," Blackmon said of the third- ranked Cowboys. "I wouldn't trade them for anyone else."
Luck, the two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up, finished with 347 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 27-of-31 efficiency.
Stepfan Taylor carried the load for the Cardinal, logging 177 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries.
Taylor capped a 13-play, 69-yard drive with a one-yard plunge over the goal line to give Stanford a 38-31 lead with 4:34 remaining.
Oklahoma State faced a 4th-and-3 at its own 40-yard line a minute later, and Weeden went to his playmaker in Blackmon, whose 21-yard reception over the middle moved the chains.
Weeden connected with Joseph Randle and Michael Harrison for 19 and 16 yards, respectively, on consecutive plays to set up Randle's game-tying run to paydirt from the four.
Luck, staked with three timeouts and 2:35 on the clock, completed his first four passes before Taylor's five-yard run moved the ball to midfield. On the next play, Jeremy Stewart got into field-goal range on a 25-yard screen pass.
Two Taylor runs netting eight yards was apparently enough for Stanford to feel comfortable bringing out the field goal unit with three seconds remaining.
Oklahoma State used a timeout to freeze Williamson and the ploy seemed to work, as the kicker missed wildly left to send the game to overtime. It was just the second time this season Stanford failed to score in the red zone.
"We didn't finish, and that's just not the kick at the end. We didn't finish the way that we are capable of," Stanford head coach David Shaw said.
Stanford controlled the first quarter, but only scored when Ty Montgomery was left wide open down the middle and hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass with 4:16 remaining.
Williamson missed a 41-yard field goal on the first possession, and Richetti Jones's sack of Luck pushed the Cardinal out of field goal range after Terrence Brown picked off Weeden's first pass.
Luck was intercepted by Justin Gilbert later in the opening frame, but Oklahoma State went three-and-out prior to Stewart reeling off a 24-yard touchdown run 4:39 into the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Blackmon, who was held without a catch in the first 20-plus minutes, quickly tied it with two long scores in less than three minutes.
First, the two-time Biletnikoff Award winner was left uncovered for an easy 43-yard touchdown, then he broke a tackle after catching a short pass over the middle and outran the defense for a 67-yard TD with 6:19 left before the half.
Taylor and Weeden traded short touchdown runs at the end of lengthy drives to send the game into halftime tied at 21-all.
Zach Ertz caught a 16-yard touchdown pass off a slant route on Stanford's first touch of the second half. Oklahoma State punted on its first two possessions, but caught a break when Geoff Meinken lost a fumble on an errant handoff exchange at his own four-yard line.
The Cowboys settled for a 19-yard Sharp field goal, and Stanford held the ball for the next six minutes, with Williamson booting a 30-yarder in the opening minutes of the final stanza to restore the seven-point lead.
Blackmon answered with a 17-yard touchdown catch with 11:53 showing.