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Scott D. Pierce: Utes get best in bowl game announcers; BYU gets scrubs

Published January 1, 2012 11:47 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

CBS has only one bowl game, so it was no surprise that Utah-Georgia Tech matchup in the Sun Bowl featured two of the best in the business in the booth — Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.

How can you not love hearing Lundquist say, "Wow"?

And Ute fans will forever hear him shouting, "Touchdown John White! This game is over! Utah wins!"

Lundquist was working with bronchitis. CBS had a back-up play-by-play guy ready to go, but the TV vet toughed it out.

ESPN, on the other hand, has 33 bowl games. And the Armed Forces Bowl was clearly not a priority. It was staffed with third-stringers Dave Neal and Andre Ware.

Some analysts look at a game and tell viewers about the options. Ware, on the other hand, employs 20-20 hindsight to tell you what he would have done.

To be fair, Neal is an adequate play-by-play guy. If only he could lose his vocal tic — his repeated use of the phrase "let's call it." As in "It's third and let's call it 4." "It's second and let's call it 9." Over and over again.

Getting noticed • BYU's Matt Reynolds accomplished the nearly impossible on Friday. He was headliner on ESPN's "SportsCenter."

That's tough to do if you're an offensive tackle. All he had to do was take his helmet off.

Actually, Reynolds had his helmet ripped off by a Tulsa player, but he got up and laid a vicious block on that same guy, allowing QB Riley Nelson to throw a touchdown pass.

That caught the attention of the folks at "SportsCenter": "Tulsa was looking to win its fourth straight bowl game, but a man without a helmet and a surprise play by BYU in the final seconds made this one a bowl game to remember."

It's relatively rare that an offensive lineman gets equal billing with the quarterback.

Who you calling tiny? • You had to laugh at Lund­quist's description of Utah running back John White IV.

"Tiny guy at 5-8," he said.

White is listed at 5-8, 186 pounds. That's "tiny"?

"Short. Let's go with short," Danielson said.

Later in the game, Danielson added, "He's smallish. Shortish. But he does not lose yards."

TV rules sports • Turns out there is a certain advantage to playing your bowl game at 10 a.m. MT on a Friday — you don't have to worry about the prior game running long.

Because, of course, there is no game before you.

Unlike the Sun Bowl, which was preceded by a Kentucky-Louisville basketball game that ran 20 minutes over.

There was, however, no cause for alarm. Hey, CBS paid for the rights to the Sun Bowl. It wasn't going to start the game before the network was ready.

TV rules sports, after all.

Scott D. Pierce's column appears Mondays and Fridays in The Mix. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com.