The Norman Transcript

November 4, 2012

Apparently, the Belldozer isn’t for everybody

By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Longtime play-by-play man Mike Patrick, an ESPN guy for more than 25 years, and Ed Cunningham, a former Arizona Cardinal and Seattle Seahawk, had the ABC call of the Sooners and Cyclones.

Patrick’s best time in the booth will always be when he did Thursday night NFL games for ESPN, joined by Joe Theismann and the hilarious Paul Maguire.

They did a perfectly fine job but for a lowlight or two.

Cunningham’s issue was the Belldozer, which he clearly did not care for at all. The funny thing about it was how poorly versed he seemed to be in its history.

For one of the only times since the introduction of the package, the Cyclones stuffed Bell on back-to-back carries in the first quarter near the goal line.

“I don’t know why you’d delay that,” Cunningham said of Blake Bell’s penchant for picking his way forward. “Run it straight ahead.”

Of course, if Cunningham knew the history, he would have known that Bell almost always displays patience out of the set and that it had led to 13 touchdowns last season and seven this season.

On OU’s first drive of the second half, Cunningham was at it again when it took Bell two tries to pick up 2 yards and a first down, saying “It just doesn’t seem like it’s quite built for these short-yardage plays,” adding that it might be better on “second-and-7.”

Of course, but for bringing it in on second-and-6 from the Notre Dame 13 a week before, the package has been employed only for short-yardage situations.

Cunningham had a better moment taking Landry Jones to task for sliding two soon, short of a first down, in the fourth quarter, and Patrick was right there to buttress the point.

Cunningham: “You’ve got to have a senior quarterback who knows what he needs to get.”

Patrick: “That was his longest run of the season. That was his first run for positive yardage.”

Also, during the minute or so Patrick and Cunningham had to advance the game, Patrick had perhaps the day’s best fact, that the last time Iowa State beat OU in Ames was 1960, when gas cost 31 cents a gallon.

GameDay happenings: One week after ESPN CollegeGameday was in Norman, it was in Baton Rouge, hyping LSU-Alabama. Lolo Jones, the summer Olympic hurdler and soon-to-be winter Olympic bobsledder, who ran college track at LSU, was the guest picker.

She wasn’t as much fun nor enlightened as last week’s guest, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, when she chose Kansas State to beat Oklahoma State because the Wildcats color is purple, which is also one of LSU’s colors.

Here was analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the Sooners and Cyclones: “This has the makings of an upset … It will be close, but I think Oklahoma finds a way to get it done.”

He was sort of right and wrong at the same time.

It was close for a while but OU found many ways to get it done.

Clay HorningFollow me @clayhorningcfhorning@normantranscript.com

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