2012 Fiesta Bowl, battle of the quarterbacks

With the game billed as two of the top rated quarterbacks in a head-to-head battle, you would think the game would be more exciting than the one I saw down on the field.

January 02 2012: Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck (12) drops back to pass during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

It didn’t seem like Stanford could move the ball as well as you would expect for the “west coast offense” Stanford Cardinal.

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January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) passes the ball during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden also seemed to have some difficulty getting his team, and the ball down the field.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys Joseph Randle (1) is tackled by the Cardinal defense during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

Neither team seemed to have much success moving the ball on the ground with a running game.

The Stanford Cardinal offense looked impressive on the field but the Cowboys defense made them work for every yard gained.

The Fiesta Bowl trophy is massive and on top is a gold, diamond-encrusted football! These two teams are fighting for bragging rights and a really cool trophy.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys warm up prior to the start of the 41st annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game.

The Fans are ready for some exciting football action.

This young Stanford fan was at the game with his father and I wonder if he and his father know the high level of scholastic achievement or financial outlay that will be required for him to attend such a school? Who knows, maybe he is a child-genius and will graduate with honors at the age of 15.

Although, this could be the result of a very expensive Stanford education and what the young man with the gloves could end up looking like after two years of studying on the beautiful Stanford campus.

I loved the Stanford marching band, there wasn’t much marching, mostly rambling, ambling band members looking like they were having more fun than anyone else in the stadium. There wasn’t much in the way of traditional uniforms or structure, but they sure looked like they were enjoying themselves. That’s Northern California for you, bucking tradition and showing some creativity.

The Stanford band just seemed to be having a lot of fun expressing their individuality and creativity while playing quality music.

OK, back to game action. I was really trying to get those great shots of the players carrying the ball, making the cut up field and gaining big yardage, but it just wasn’t happening, at least I wasn’t seeing it unfold for me.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck looks to the sidelines for the perfect play to break this game wide open.

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Branden Weeden takes his turn looking to the sidelines for the play to break this game wide open.

January 02 2012: Stanford Cardinal Stepfan Taylor (33) looks for running room during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

I wish I was one of those guys who has the time to study what each team might do in third down situations when the defense is showing blitz and the outside linebacker is showing a pass, or whatever you need to know to be in the perfect position to get the perfect shots. I really would like to dedicate the time and energy to being a much smarter shooter, it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me right now, but I’ll keep trying.

I think I do reasonably well at the feature stuff, fans on the sidelines, band on the field, cheerleaders, that sort of thing.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys Justin Blackmon (81) breaks a tackle during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

Some photographers are just instinctive about how to capture the perfect game and they make it look effortless. I want to push myself to be a better game-action photographer, I guess I just need more practice.

I felt like I was getting some good shots of Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck, and for most of the game I thought Stanford was going to hold on to win.

I was having an off night with my cheerleader shots so I didn’t get as many good shots as I would have liked.

I kept looking for the perfect cheerleader shots from the sidelines but there was a close and exciting game happening so I kept going back to game-action for images.

January 02 2012: Stanford Cardinal Anthony Wilkerson (32) carries the ball during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

The two teams seemed very closely matched although Stanford put the first points on the board the Cowboys adjusted in the second half so the game looked like it was going to come down to the final minutes.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys Justin Blackmon (81) during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Justin Blackmon was on his way to being the player of the game, but at this point it was still looking like Stanford was going to take the big prize.

The Stanford Cardinal kept moving the ball into the red-zone and the passing yards were impressive for both quarterbacks, so we all thought things were going well for the Cardinal. Everything was going well for Stanford except for one aspect of the game, point after and field goal kicking.

January 02 2012: Stanford Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson (19) attempts a field goal during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

Every game has a hero and every game has a goat, it turns out for this game the kicker’s from both teams would fill those roles.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys kicker Quinn Sharp (13) kicks the game-winning field goal during the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

With the Stanford kicker missing as regulation time ran out the game heads into overtime and the Cowboys kicker Quinn Sharp becomes the hero of the game.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy celebrates after winning the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

What, wait that’s it? Three hours of back and forth battling and the game is decided by a field goal? Yep, that is the way this game would go.

I loved the sweat on his face after the game in this shot.

January 02 2012: Oklahoma State Cowboys Justin Blackmon (81) holds up the Fiesta Bowl trophy top after winning the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl between the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The OSU Cowboys defeated the Stanford Cardinal 41-38.

Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy in a post game press conference.

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) in a post game press conference.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Justin Blackmon (81) in a post game press conference.

And of course Oklahoma State Cowboys kicker Quinn Sharp (13) who kicked the game-winning field goal talks to the media in a post game press conference.

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3 thoughts on “2012 Fiesta Bowl, battle of the quarterbacks

  1. Doug,

    I enjoy your photography. What is your favorite long lens. I’m an event photographer but I shoot in very close quarters and I am right up in the peoples. I recent shot “Wing Bowl XX” in Philadelphia but did not have a long lens. What long lens would you recommend when shooting in a Stadium.

    Please check out my photo weblog of “Wing Bowl XX”.

    http://albfor.wordpress.com/

    Thanks

    Al B. For
    Photographer

    • Funny, I was just checking out your great images from Wing Bowl XX, it seem beautiful woman are attracted by the smell of hot wings or something like that.

      I would say that if you shoot Canon the 70mm – 200mm f2.8L lens is most photographer’s ‘go to’ lens for indoor sports or indoor events. I use that lens for press conferences, basketball and on a second body for football and baseball. It is a great lens that can be used for weddings, tighter portraits and head shots as well as faster action activities.

      If you need more reach you start to get into the super telephoto class of lens and the prices climb very high on those.

      Hope that helps.

      • Yeah,

        That’s my next step… a long lens. I was shooting with a AF-S NIKKOR 17-55mm 1:2.8 G ED DX lens at 3200 ISO, which is way out of my comfort zone, I prefer 250-640 ISO with a flash when I shoot the night life. As you know NIKKOR Prime lens are expensive but I do plan to invest the $1,800 + for a good lens.

        ps. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN ARE ATTRACTED TO CAMERAS! : )

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