Corruption? What corruption? The controversy — and that $1 million fine slapped on Fiesta Bowl organizers in the spring — took a backseat to football when it came time to actually play the game Monday night.
The result was an emotional, 41-38 overtime victory that capped the greatest season in Oklahoma State history and made Stanford’s Andrew Luck a loser in his final college game.
For Luck, the Indianapolis Colts, presumably, are the next stop. He completed 27 of 31 passes for 347 yards, but had no regrets about returning for his final season with the Cardinal. Stanford had a chance to win the game in regulation, but a field-goal attempt by freshman Jordan Williamson was wide. He also missed a 43-yarder in overtime.
“Yes, it was worth it,” Luck said via Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “Not to say I enjoyed every moment, because I didn't, but it was worth every moment.”
The Fiesta Bowl provided many memorable moments, from Markelle Martin’s crushing hit on Ty Montgomery to the instant the Cowboys took their first lead of the game on Quinn Sharp’s 22-yard field-goal attempt that split the uprights for the OT win.
Wide receiver Justin Blackmon caught eight passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Colton Chelf caught five passes for 97 yards.
And then there was the performance of quarterback Brandon Weeden, who passed for 399 yards and three touchdowns.
“I can’t say enough about the job that Brandon did,” Coach Mike Gundy said. “Every time we got down, we were resilient and came back. What a great job by our players.”
For the Cowboys, the victory was an upbeat capper to a year marked by tragedy. Gundy acknowledged as much afterward, poignantly presenting the championship trophy to Shelley Budke, the widow of the women’s basketball coach who was killed in a plane crash in November.
Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon
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