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Skycam -- not Oklahoma -- crashes at Insight Bowl
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Skycam — not Oklahoma — crashes at Insight Bowl

With 2:22 left in the game, ESPN’s “Skycam” came crashing
to the earth, nearly hitting Iowa’s Marvin McNutt.

“I was lucky it didn’t hit me,” the receiver said after
the game. “The cord was pretty sharp.”

Unfortunately for McNutt, No. 14 Oklahoma had a better
performance than ESPN’s technology Friday night in Tempe,
as the Sooners beat the Hawkeyes 31-14 to win the Insight
Bowl.

Now, it was neither flawless nor pretty, as Oklahoma
tallied 275 yards of offense while Iowa picked up 292. The
teams were a combined 10 of 29 on third downs, and the
longest single play from scrimmage was a 22-yard reception
by Oklahoma’s Kameel Jackson.

But a win is a win, and the Sooners will take it.

“It’s really important that these seniors leave here with
this,” Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops said. “I appreciate
the players’ efforts.”

It would have been easy for Stoop’s team to come out and
play flat. Their opponent was unranked and given little
chance in this game, while they themselves were
underachievers who struggled to end the regular season. A
victory in the Insight Bowl would not change the narrative
of their 2011 campaign, so it would have been
understandable if Oklahoma did not play a great game.

“So if you’re not in the National Championship game it
doesn’t mean a lot,” an incredulous Stoops asked. “All
these games mean a lot if you are the ones playing in
them.”

The win was number 10 on the season for the Sooners, and
doing it the way they did Friday night – with no turnovers
and a big game from backup quarterback Blake Bell – shows
that the Oklahoma program is a machine that just keeps on
humming along. After all, starting QB Landry Jones could
leave school for the NFL, and chances are good Bell, who
was named the Insight Bowl’s Offensive MVP, would step in
and keep winning games.

Rushing the ball 10 times for 51 yards and three
touchdowns, he basically did just that Friday night,
though he wasn’t ready to let the spotlight shine on
himself.

“Landry is the one that gets me down there when I punch it
in,” he said. “So I give most of the credit to him.”

While the Insight Bowl may not have been pretty, the game
gave Arizona a chance to host one of the college game’s
best programs, a team that will be in the national
championship conversation on pretty much a yearly basis.

And while ESPN’s camera may have come crashing down in
Tempe Friday night, Oklahoma refused to let their season
do the same.