having faith in me.
The board, everybody.
And, uh, it just feels so, so lucky.
If I'm not mistaken.
Is sure, Agent a two lane law graduate.
I You know, when I when I got this job, I wanted to have somebody smart, uh, someone insignificant there, but nice to know that it's something. Tell you something.
It's kept in the family.
Here, let me tell you something.
That's kind of funny. Today.
We've got signals that we do on the sideline, and you put these signs up and you've got all these different pictures of people up there.
And our guys had, uh, Jerry Springer on there and and, uh, you know, I said, now you guys know he's a two lane graduate and they had no idea is too late.
How about that? How about that? We've gotta gotta interesting it is that they just picked it for I'm not gonna give away any secrets, you know that There's a reason they picked him, but they had no idea.
Is a two lane graduate.
I'm gonna have to try to decode exactly what that reason might be.
Whether it's like the DNA testing that he would always do on his shows or something like that.
Maybe that means something.
Let's talk about, uh, right off the top.
What you think way? Start off.
Uh, walk away, Mr E.
Excellent job of coming out.
Exploiting some matchups.
Different e defensively.
Excellent adjustments, e.
I think that 70 e come on.
I made offensively.
I knew there was gonna be some growing pains that z e too many drops.
And, uh, a a Not a big deal, right? Especially because of the situation that everybody's going through.
The way that practice has been a piggyback a last year.
Totally a season ago at which, whether it was the Navy game or the temple game where the slow starts became a frustration point, No.
You know, we certainly don't want to get in the habit of doing that.
We had a few games last year where we were, uh, you know, it did have some slow starts, but, you know, it's, you know, you always go back and you look at it and you're like, Gosh, darn it, if this guy would have blocked here, we gotta play If the back would have stayed inside and for some reason he went outside, we would have a good play.
This guy doesn't drop, but it was like the Southern Miss game in the bowl game.
You know, is, uh, there was a reason for lack of success. It wouldn't.
They're just whipping, whipping, but up front, and we can't do anything.
You know, when that happens, that's a bugger, you know.
And when you got the right play called, but he does their assignment, it's a loss of one because they're Jimmy's air bigger than your Joe's, you know? But, uh, that hasn't been the case.
And you know, when that occurs, when he's gotta be assignment sound eso the flip side of that conversation becomes you guys have obviously been very adept at making halftime adjustments.
Was there anything with the South Alabama game that you thought was uniquely impactful? That helps whether it's the defensive line, get after it, the secondary holdup Theofanis moving a little bit in the second half.
Anything unique in that game? E m.
Under on the dude that was catching all the passes e second half with a little bit of coverage.
You know, they tricked him into, you know, throwing some balls into coverage, you know? Looked like we were playing.
One thing playing another probably didn't do enough of that in the first half, but we tackle a little bit better.
We got him in some long yardage situations and, you know, can sample Patrick Johnson able to pin their ears back and and come And those guys really do an excellent job rushing the passer, Uh, you know, kind of warm down a little bit upfront and were able to run the ball effectively, you know? And, uh, I think Kion felt a little bit more comfortable in that fourth quarter. Probably.
Then he did the first three quarters, so ah, lot of things.
And then also, I thought we did a nice job in the kicking game.
You know, for game one, we covered punts and kicks.
Well, America did a good job with touchbacks, and, you know, I thought we did a good job.
We had real nice punt return with a real nice, uh, kickoff return and got us a good starting field position.
Right. So let's talk about navy.
How much was the schedule, if at all changed around this week because of the situation that we thought we might deal with them we didn't deal with with Hurricane Sally.
Oh, totally change your mind.
You know, way got done practicing Monday, and I so totally guys.
Right, man, go pack your stuff.
Possibility of a staying in a hotel until Saturday, you know? Oh, my goodness.
And so we packed all our stuff up.
We went out to the hotel on.
We luckily only stayed there for a night.
And, uh, but I was the new guys, you know, kind of looking at me cross eyed when they were looking outside and see perfect weather, everything else.
And But I said, You talk to these dudes from New Orleans and I've even got a few guys that air, uh, transplanted Katrina guys, you know, that lived here and had a move and stay, you know, someplace else.
You know, after they moved, uh, because of what happened.
So we we got to take it all seriously.
We're lucky, you know, with this what? What President fits.
And three university we're doing with co vid.
And we're lucky that they take care of the students in regard to this, you know, other places, they wouldn't it be be every man and woman and child for themselves.
And we were We were ableto keep the guys out of harm's way.
And luckily, nothing happened.
From a football standpoint, this is the wrong team to lose a day of practice to, though.
No, no, you're right.
But, you know, that's just That's the way of the world.
Yeah, eso with this Navy triple option.
We talked about it every single year.
But what makes them so much more unique than anybody else that happens to run this? You've seen it a bunch.
Now we see it from Army and Air Force and Navy.
But what makes them, um, or challenging team to coach your guys up for just very disciplined? You know, they could do it in their sleep.
You do this, they're gonna do this.
You do this, we're gonna do that.
There's a little feeling out process with them at the beginning of the game to see exactly what defense they're gonna be in.
But once they determine that they've seen them all, you know, So it's not like, uh oh, gosh, is the defense we've never seen before.
You know, there's only a few ways to plan.
And, you know, if you're not assignment sound, they're gonna make you pay for it.
Uh, last question for you.
Taj Spears, uh, had a fantastic game against South Alabama.
The way that BYU ran.
Does that give him an opportunity? Uh, I think, uh, you know, a long way.
People were gonna have an opportunity every week.
You know, Thio, get him out in open spaces, you know? And hey, just he's a dynamic back.
We're just really fortunate that we've got so money get backs.
You know, we got we got Tajae.
Who can we got? Great speed.
Uh, Camp Carroll, who's also got great speed and good size.
Uh, stuff on Hunterson.
I thought I had a couple of really nice runs last Saturday.
Uh, Mari Jones, You put him in the backfield.
Boy, that was a nice cut on his touchdown around there at the end of game one.
And I got grabbed a whole lot of air, you know? And then my g booker, Hopefully, we're gonna get him out there, get him going and playing back there in the backfield.
He's a little banged up, but he get run.
You know, Taj and Y G.
You know, 10 600 m guys and and, uh, you know, Marty's got great speed.
Can't Carol's got great speed Hudson run.
So we got good speed and good size and good balance back there.
Coach, thanks so much for your time.
Best of luck against Navy this week.
Thank you. Roll way.
All right, talk, Stewart.
Let's start with the simple question.
One week of football for two lane under its spelt.
Did you learn anything from game week? You know, I don't know that we learned a whole lot knew from game week that we didn't already know or were already prepared for, which was nice.
We did, um, go through and do the extra testing on Friday s O.
But it went very well very easily.
Obviously the protocols that the conferences faras talking to our opponents ahead of time and presenting Thio uh, the medical advisory group just thio get that final blessing and approval was new for us.
We hadn't done it.
Is that a Z to? I mean, we had done it the week before for, um, the games in the conference the week before.
So it's been, uh, interesting, but no, I don't think we ran into anything new or anything that we weren't expecting.
Eso We're sitting here Monday afternoon, and I recognized the answer to this question might be No, but do we know much about the postgame testing yet? Not yet.
We should be getting some of that quickly.
Thanks to now, Hurricane Sally.
Uh, and knowing some of the, uh, testing, uh, impediment that might be placed in front of us.
Uh, we actually did our host game test thing on Sunday, Uh, with the approval of the conference and, uh, hopefully we won't need to, but also have permission to move our Wednesday testing to Thursday for for Navy, but waiting for everything to come back.
But very hopeful, uh, that that we don't see anything, at least to my count.
The first conference game to be postponed.
So far, I think I've counted five games, including a a C teams total that have been postponed with the first one between two conference teams is Houston and Memphis.
Was that something that made its way to the advisory committee meeting that was discussed in front of everyone.
Or since it was a week in advance.
Was that preemptive? How did that come together? No, we actually, um Memphis, Uh, in Houston.
I guess everyone probably configure out since Memphis is not playing in Houston is playing that where the problem lies.
Um, the, um other things than eyes that we knew, um, very quickly that, um, And last week, being Labor Day, our call was actually on Tuesday, we knew we were having issues up in Memphis, and so we talked about that.
I guess it was actually, Thursday morning was when we started seeing that Wednesday.
Um uh, testing coming back from Memphis.
And then it was on our Friday morning call when we were discussing our South Alabama game.
That we had the significant conversation on actually took, um, probably a majority of our time, uh, to talk about the Memphis Houston game.
And at that point, Memphis was testing again on Saturday.
So the decision to move the game was not made in the Friday call.
We talked about the need to, uh, wait for their Saturday testing on then.
Even with all of that.
The decision, the actual decision to move and postponed games is not does not lie with the medical advisory group.
It actually lies with the president.
So, um, we were in the process of waiting on Saturday's test results to come back.
Uh, and we were actually notified that the Memphis and University of Houston presidents had talked and decided Thio go ahead and postponed that game.
So eso it was postponed for the president.
We have another call today with the medical adviser groups.
I'm sure that the Memphis Houston game is going to be discussed.
Eso that brings up kind of another interesting point, right? The presidents get to make the final decision, although I'm sure that the committee will make a recommendation based on their best knowledge about here is the situation you guys now need to make your best judgment.
Um, going through it for the first time.
Um, I think from the outside fans could say, Well, you know, they're going to do everything they can to get on the field, And maybe some fans would feel, um, heaven and earth would be moved to play football at the risk of better judgment after going through it one time.
Do you feel like everyone was making the best sound decisions from from a medical standpoint? Now that you're inside that room? Yes, I don't think there's any question about it.
I mean, there was a lot of talk about whether or not to go ahead and make that decision on Friday to postpone.
But we knew that Memphis had another test and so the fact that they had a large number of tests on Wednesday, we kind of sat back and said OK, if Saturday Test have no new positive, then Memphis still might be able to play now.
We also realized that that was unlikely to happen, but we didn't want to get ahead of the testing and the science, so we were actually waiting for those results to come back on.
The president's intervened even before we had gotten Thio that point, so they probably made the decision that we would have recommended.
Um, but we have not gotten to that point tax.
We make the recommendation of the president certainly helpful from the committee standpoint, I suppose, um, I'd say the other big notable cove it related story in college football over the weekend was Virginia Tech and Virginia getting postponed to a date later to be determined.
Now, Virginia Tech is not going to play for the first three weeks of the season because of a couple of cancelations.
One thing Virginia Deck did put out after the fact was what appears to be a CC guidelines.
In terms of minimum number of players, Theo nly specifications that that had was seven scholarship offensive lineman must be available.
I think the Big 12 has put out something similar plus 53 available players from scholarship.
Um, does the a a c have something similar? Is that a public piece of information? I guess.
Was it completely obvious based on those protocols that Memphis was gonna fall below, um, those guidelines we have, um we haven't set a number, um, were certainly aware of the big 12 and in the A.
Um, and and those are certainly very reasonable numbers, um, and and how they're going about it.
But we have a lot more that we take into consideration.
So if on you know, so if there's a deal, I'll put it all on two lane right now.
So if the Monday testing, uh, we've got 3 to 5 guys that air positive, and you take another eight people who are, uh, contact traced.
And then on Wednesday you now have seven or eight that air positive.
Um, and then you go into the Friday morning.
Really? What were the conversation? We're looking at that trend.
And so we might say, as the medical advisory group that were okay with the game going forward, as long as there are no positive on the rapid testing that comes back and that if there are two positives, five positives, whatever we might or might not pick a number that we would want to either reconvene and discuss it further, or if there are positives on that rapid test, then the recommendation Medical Advisor Group is that it not be played.
So So we meet actually before the rapid test results are back.
Um, and and data that we're collecting, um, on, um, Thursday night before the weekend games.
And actually, I'm gonna give a shoutout Thio Kyle, our director of tickets.
Because Kyle has has now been, uh, somewhat repurposed to help with the spreadsheet for the conference.
Thio put all these numbers together a Z faras What's going on? The positives of different scores and things that we're watching, not everybody up in the press box in South Alabama.
There's plenty of people that are thrilled that we're playing football, and I'm certainly one of them because my employment depends on it.
Um, but reasonable minds can kind of go back and forth, right? Like the conflicted feeling.
Should we should we be here? Obviously, you feel like it's safe, but do you ever have those moments? Did you ever have those moments when you pause and say, Maybe this is Maybe this is a new undertaking that's deeply challenging? Um, there there were times.
Um well, let me put it this way.
When we finished the game on Saturday, uh, my first response to Troy Waas.
I can promise you that there were times when I never thought we would have finished the game, Uh, with this and not just from, uh, you know, is it transmitted on the field? But just everything we've been through from from March 13th till now, uh, kind of thing there was, You know, there were lots of times and throw.
And I were both saying, even even up Thio recent two or three weeks ago, there were times when you thought, gosh, this wasn't going to happen.
But there were a lot of times that, uh, rational minds would have sat back and thought water in the world on And can we actually accomplished this? Um, and an equal number of times when we sat down and it was like, Oh, my gosh, look at all the time and effort we're putting into this that is not ever going toe happen.
Um, and and so, yeah, I think there were a lot of times that we went through that, But at the same time, we sat back and realized, you know, as a society, how important sport is, and especially in the South, how important football is.
And so we kind of started with the premise of how do we make this as safe as possible? And and and that's really kind of where we've gone all along again with the understanding, the health and safety is Student athlete was paramount that if we couldn't do this in a way that we were comfortable that the student athletes would be a safest possible that we were reducing the risk as much as possible.
Um, then uh, uh, that's eyes kind of, you know, where we are in all of it.
So So that's the piece.
You no way make it safe and come up with a set of guidelines that would allow that to happen.
And so so far after two weeks, but with cancelations.
And we said from the beginning, this was going to happen.
So, you know, not surprised, um, that that we've got some games that air canceled or that we're going to have games that move forward, but with a significant reduction and available student athletes.
Um, but if we think that a game especially now going into American, uh, play, uh, if we think that a game eyes not safe, then we're going to recommend it not be played.
All right, Doc, I'll get you out of here on this one, and I will let you brag on two lane for just a second.
Because as you look across college football, we just talked about Memphis and Virginia Tech and, um, any number of games that have been upended or teams that have paused practices, I don't think.
But for maybe one day two Lane has paused practices.
What has What has it been about? Whether it's what President fits has allowed to happen the way that Coach Fritz has run his program, the way that you and Troy Dannon have outlined things the way the student athletes have behaved themselves? I suppose.
What has been different and unique in your eyes about two lanes for the past? A couple of weeks and months? Well, first off, let me say that that you know, you're violating one of these cardinal rules in sports medicine.
You know, you never turned to each other with a minute left in the game and say, Oh, my gosh, look, the game's almost didn't have anybody hurt you and we're not doing that.
So what happened? It's on you, just so that's clear, You know, that's funny.
Yeah, it's and it's the It's the sports broadcasting equivalent of pointing out the no hitter.
It's the sports broadcasting equivalent of saying, Hey, this baseball games moving really fast and then it slows down to a crawl.
So we've all we've all got our own, so I apologize for stepping on a land mine.
So So having said that in realizing that now it's your fault, Um, you know, it's really all of those people that that you outline.
I mean, President Fits has given us the ability, Ana, and the resource is could be able to make sure that everything is the safest possible.
Roy has gone and fought for this Troy and coach, Uh, we've been very clear with the student athletes from the beginning that this is not going to be like any other year.
You know, this is not going to be your typical, uh, college football season that that if you want to play football that this year, they're going to be sacrifices that you would never have been asked to, mate.
You know, normally the sacrifice you gotta work hard.
You get toe, you know, do all these other things.
But now, uh, you know, postgame celebration being able Thio go out Saturday night.
Being able thio do these kinds of things are no longer, um not necessarily permitted, but permitted.
Um, and the wise decision, if you want college football games for you down the road.
And that And we've talked about this We've talked about, you know, being very careful of who you hang out with of where you go to eat meals where you do these kinds of things, who you bring into your room or whose room or house You may go to all of these things in the past where you could Oh, well, let's just go hang out and play video games.
Now you've got to be aware of who you're going and hanging out with.
And and from the very beginning, we've been very clear about that and, you know, over the summer and you know, eight so that they have, uh, you know, the two lane football team is serious.
I mean, this was you know, this is, you know, from good to great.
This is this is them being serious about it? And I'll tell you, being in the locker room after the game, the South Alabama incredibly proud of them because they came in.
And, uh, this was not the locker room of the locker room of a team that just won a game at the very end and snatched it out.
This was this was the locker room of a team who was not happy with their performance with the sacrifices they made.
And this was what they did.
S o e think they realize what they've given up on what they're giving up, uh, in order to play this season.
And I think that, you know, they are going to continue to do what they could do in order to play football.
I mean, I've had, you know, you've seen opt outs across the country, um, across the conference, you know, we've had things.
And as I would come in, some of the stuff that we were, you know, in the medical advisory group in meeting with the commissioner, you know, there were there were schools where, you know, the student athletes may or may not have wanted to play, obviously opt out.
But I would come through, uh, you know, through Wilson on it practice or seeing some of the guys, and they would stop me on a regular basis.
And very much be Doc, we gotta play.
You got to make sure we play.
So, you know, those were the kinds of things that that we were seeing.
So it was, you know, it was always very exciting.
Uh, Thio have that.
And have the guys know of what we're trying to accomplish on them being being behind us with that? Yeah, I think there's some metaphor about everybody rowing the boat in the same direction.
Clearly, from top to bottom.
It sounds like that's been the case. Dr.
Stewart, thank you so much for your time and for your work.
And, uh, if something goes wrong, feel free.
Thio, point the finger where you need to.
I'm gonna have a copy of this so that when it happens, I could play it for Freud and the president.
So e just could be your last podcast.
E have too much fun. So fingers crossed.
Thank you, Dr Stewart.
You're very welcome.
All right, Adam.
So take me back to production meetings that week.
What story lines did you think you would be following going into Houston in two Lane? Man, we went in that We just kind of get it, wanting to get a sense of what the Tulane program was about.
And that's something that stuck out to me last year.
Especially because I had to.
****ysts in Matt Hasselbeck and Pat McAfee who were fair, frankly knew, like to the modern workings of college football.
And I had so weird to say, because it's like that old like that's, you know, around our age.
Like, you know, he was playing 10 years ago, 11 years ago in college, but at the same time, it was so much has changed in just a short period of time.
So for Mad and Pat, especially being new back on the scene of college football, they really wanted to get, like, the nuts and bolts of like what? What what this means sort of to the school.
Like what it means to these programs to be, you know, on a Thursday night game and again that your mileage may vary in terms of what that means to you individually as like a fan of a team or a student at the university.
But, you know, for these guys, it was a big deal, like they wanted to know, like the ins and outs.
So I actually have my like notes in front of me, and I remember they were like they bugged everybody, by the way, and that's what was so awesome about this guy.
I mean that in the most positive way, like they wanted to meet like the person who is like the assistant to the head coach.
They wanted me, You know, the mom who's like coming into, like, drop off cookies that week or whatever it is.
We have a story on Liz Devlin Ziegler, who has been obviously one of the most beloved athletic department employees for three decades, at this this point, and I wrote down her dad.
John was a long time college and NFL coach.
Her brother, Mike eyes and was an offensive line coach for the Texans who used to play in Iowa.
Her son, Dane, of course, the week prior, and I think this would have been in the second game of the year got his first tackle, a za walk on, and we wanted to talk about that like they wanted to expose stories like that, too.
And that's something that I do feel like now that I'm kind of kind of stepped away.
I do feel like that does get lost in the shuffle sometimes is those really individualized stories about people that are close to the program that make an impact so That was certainly one thing that stuck out just in meetings and that day.
You know that Wednesday going around campus and getting the shirt, which I happen to be wearing right now from, you know, from the department.
But that was that was off the field in terms on the field stuff.
It was learning about the elements.
Will halls triple option? Look, you know, you hear what kind of elements do we have in this really high up tempo offense? We had penalty issues the first couple of games.
How are you gonna, you know, mitigate those issues against a really solid defensive team like Houston? And I remember kind of just having a chat with Willie and getting to know Willie for the first time.
And I remember going through like my notes on Willie and, you know, expansive Resume a defensive back for Ron Randleman at Pittsburgh ST in Kansas.
And that was important that game because Ron was at the game, and I think that at one point we got a chance to show him and show him up and down, walking the sidelines in pregame, and that was meaningful.
Thio have a story like that to be able to share to talk about, uh, you know his wife Susan celebrating her birthday this week And how she goes out of her way to remember a lot of the kids.
Uh, you know Justin McMillan, his great story after starting at L s U.
I knew Jalen McCleskey very well.
I haven't called a ton of Oklahoma State games.
And seeing a lot of McCluskey is part of this ridiculously deep wide receiver cord oak ST and not really getting in and getting a decent chance, but decided he wanted to go do something different.
So all of those storylines we come in with an Andrew, you know exactly what this is like.
And I'm already rambling because it's, you know, all these memories flooding back and and all this connectivity that you and I and and all of our colleagues go through his broadcasters.
That's the connectivity we want, right? We get to tell this whole story over the course of the night, even when they're losing like hey, good for Willie, for instance.
What they want to dio Now the comeback begins to come back.
Charge starts now.
The plays at the end of the game or a while.
And then McCleskey makes the incredible playoff MacMillan pass to win the game.
And at the end of the night, we get to ask him, You know, Molly McGrath is on the sideline and gets toe ask.
You know, your dad is on the sidelines here.
What did he tell you before that play? And we get the big time Players make big time plays.
Quote after he made the biggest play and and that's what means a lot to us when we prepare for these games and you have a different angle of it as the team broadcaster.
But that's what means a lot to us parachuting in to do these games for these programs.
Or maybe maybe you will only see once every four or five years individually is broadcasters.
That's what really means a lot to us.
When we have that level of connectivity to tell the story like that and you know it's interesting, you bring up the depth of storylines that you guys came in with and as a broadcaster, when the game starts to unfold right, the first play is that huge touchdown on then all of a sudden, it's 28 to 7.
Houston is out in front as a broadcast.
You're saying, Hey, at least I've got the storylines.
That's why we come in, right? That's why we come and prepared and why we don't prep for the good games.
We prepped for the blowouts more so you know, like we the individualized and anecdotal prep that we come in with is really for the bigger, bigger picture way.
When, when? When I was at ESPN, there was a philosophy there that you wanted to humanize before you ****yzed.
And that's a good philosophy when it comes to college kids, you know, like, uh, it's good to be able Thio feel a connectivity to this wide receiver that you've probably never heard of.
Or maybe you've only heard of one.
So you heard of three years ago and then to give you a reason at home to care.
And that's what means a lot to us.
And that usually doesn't get to play out in the fashion that it got to play out.
And last year when we were in New Orleans, but I always remember that were we're trying to come in with a reason for you to care.
And that could be a stat.
That could be Hey, you should watch this defense.
They've given up six points in five games.
They're really good.
Like Well, that particular day it was.
Derek King was trying to set the F.
B s record for most touchdowns consecutively throwing and running game over Tim Tebow, which he did.
That was the national angle that you guys came in with that day.
Yeah, we had that graphic ready to go.
I remember putting it in the call, you know, right out of the gate.
Like a soon as he got that second rushing touchdown like he's, you know, he's just set the new FBS record for that.
You know, Dane Roy, really great Australian punter.
Naturally, our partner, Pat McAfee, was gonna want to talk about about an Australian punter.
But you know, I'm looking at my my Houston notes from that game is well and talking about deer.
It's tourney a C L, which happened to your prior against two lane like there's that level of connectivity, and that's not that's more coincidental that hey, we happen to be calling this game.
But for him, that's gotta mean something.
He remembers the jerseys across the field when he was on the ground in pain, like he remembers those things.
And that's that's the level of connectivity that we're trying to create when we covered college football.
And I think that's what makes the sport itself that much more special.
I'm not saying it's better or worse than pro football.
I think it's something unique.
It's something that you can only find in this type of setting in this type of sport.
Let's talk about the booth as the game starts to change.
Let's go to the second half, because again, it was.
It was Houston dominated in the first half, and then it was different in the second half.
When did you guys get the sense that things were tightening up in that second half? And what conversations were you having with producers with McAfee with Hasselbeck? What were those moments like in the second half of that started to turn? Yeah, I think there was 11 quote that I gave to Madden Path that I still remember to this day, and that's still references it once in a while to, and that really made me appreciate our relationship because I felt like I learned a ton from those guys just because of their chemistry, their unity, having been teammates in the locker room before, and for me to kind of feel like I pass something on to them, it meant a lot.
So we were getting into the second half.
Houston starting to make some miscues.
We remember the Miss Cakes, Aziz well, in the second half of that game, and I think it was probably one of the 28 21 e think e said.
We had a ball game in the Big Easy and we felt like All right, this is this is happening.
This is something that could come right down to the wire and during a commercial break.
And this is remember for Pat, Matt and I and Molly on the field.
The third game we're doing together, right? I think this is Week four, actually of the season, but it's only the third game that we're doing together because there was a week that we didn't work because we don't have a Thursday night game, so we're getting used to each other.
We're getting acclimated with one another's kind of corks and cadence and rhythms and and that's important.
You want to know those things with your partner so that you can, you know you can have better timing and feel like you're connected.
In that sense, when we got to that point the second half, I remember turning to both Matt and patent saying, Hey, usually we get to dictate how we broadcast right.
We get to dictate our rhythm.
That's what we've been doing for 2.
So we get to dictate our rhythm, our cadence, our timing.
I want you guys to look at the score, look at the time and look at the field and realize that these guys, we're now going to dictate how we call the game.
And that's something that's hard for new broadcasters to get right out of the gate and that it's not.
The expectation is not to know that.
So the fact that these guys responded as well as they did as ****ysts and as broadcasters meant a lot to me because it only further proved to me how quick and sharp they were like they're sponges, that those guys were two of the smarter guys.
I think you'll ever be around in terms.
Just how their brains work.
Like Matt on Bad, for different reasons have two of the more interesting minds.
I think I've got a chance to been around, been around for over a lot of reasons, underlying different reasons, but deeply captivating in their own ways, very much so and and very intelligent.
And you can tell the gears were grinding in their heads like, Oh, I get that you got it.
And it was something that they recognized not only as through the technical imaginations of a broadcast, but also like Oh, right, this is a seven point game.
These guys were down for 21 a few minutes ago, like just like that.
Like, you know, like in the flash of of the game, Even though it was a heavy come back, it was It was a march to come back in that game.
All of a sudden, you blink and you go, Oh, wow, it's 28 21 there's a real chance that this becomes, ah, you know, a tie game at some point.
So I think to see them when we got to that point, especially in the fourth quarter.
Recognized like, Hey, we we need to shift because this is real stuff. This is dramatic.
And I think that played out e I think you heard it.
You know, in particular from Pat when MacMillan scores the touchdown, throws a touchdown Thio mcleskey like you heard it in his voice.
He was freaking out.
He was laughing like it was It was the culmination of watching something take place that had some specialness, um, uniqueness to it.
And I I don't think people who would just look at the schedule and say Houston, two lane, who cares, Like, understand? Uh, this game meant a lot to a lot of people that night because it wasn't a national stage.
And I know Thursday Night Football maybe doesn't have the same swagger it used to in college because the NFL is, you know, kind of taken.
Ah, lot of that shine.
But it means something to these two fan bases and two people who love college football and love.
That connectivity we talked about this meant a lot to a lot of people, and the way the place erupted in the way that, you know, people were celebrating that moment.
That that gave it, you know, that that gave us the proof of that.
So it was great to be a part of that and a lot of different ways and a lot of different angles.
It was really, really fun to be a part of that.
Second happen particularly.
All right, so let's talk about that ending sequence, which is obviously the thing that everyone's gonna remember want to talk about first off the fake knee.
I went back and I listened to your call.
You did exactly what I did there.
They're coming to the line of scrimmage.
My brain was okay.
Is there any chance that they can make a run at this? Probably not.
We're gonna play for overtime.
You had great lines about the storyline of MacMillan, the storyline of King, and we get to see it unfold.
And over time and then boom.
And then, boom, it was it caught us.
I do feel like I was certainly caught by surprise, but I called it in a fashion that I feel like was the fan in me kind of come out and you get to.
No, you actually kicked my butt because I was.
So I was so stunned by the whole thing.
I called it as like borderline a regular, whatever it was 18 yard run or whatever it ended up having to be.
I listened back and I go, Man, you were so caught off guard by that.
It just came out Normal way were so caught off guard by it that just erupted like a van.
And I was like, Oh my God, it's a fake.
It get's And I think that's again, something you Onley really see in college football.
That's not something you see busted out a pro game very often, and I love that we had that reaction because I'm not rooting for two Lane because I care about two lane more than I care about Houston or anything.
For us, it's what's the funniest, stupidest, craziest, like most entertaining thing that can happen.
And if you react that way, I think fans appreciate you now you're going to get a lot of hate from particular van basis, and that's probably it's part of the territory, like you have to understand that when you work nationally, you're going to get people writing angry tweets, and they're not angry at you.
They're looking for a punching bag because their teams playing poorly and you're you are the easiest, most accessible, most visible person to attack in that moment without attacking the players themselves.
Which, by the way, I remember doing the Egg Bowl last year and old Mrs Kicker, this is that extra point that eventually loses them.
The kid got death threats that, you know within 10 minutes on Twitter.
So they're looking for a punching bag, and I'd much rather us be the punching bag for some misinterpreted language or tone.
Then you take it out on the kid That's legitimately feeling awful at that point.
So that's fine. That comes with the territory.
But the fans of football, the fans of college football and probably the fans of that team that are also reacting similarly, they're gonna connect with you.
And that's like, that's what means a lot to me.
That's what meant a lot to be calling college football.
Is there? Is that that same reaction that surrender Cobra image from that Michigan Michigan State game? You know, the kid bent over the at you failing of U Va.
And that no Notre Dame Virginia game.
You know, the the sad guns up with Stack is getting blown out by 50 against Oklahoma State.
Like those air lasting images because we're all kind of reacting, even his broadcasters in some form or fashion to some degree, just like that.
And that is that Play that play that fake knee on the run to the left like that's what that play personifies.
It's the shock. It's the surprise.
It's the innovation.
It's the risk taking that you see at this level that you may not see in the NFL.
So I think all of us were so taken aback, bite and then we recognize Hey, now they have a legitimate shot to win this game and we have to reset.
It was nice to have the time out after that play because then we got to relive that play and replay and be able Thio, enjoy it again, his fans and then reset to Alright, well, here's the situation now they have a fresh set of downs, they're in plus territory and they've got plenty of time to set up.
We're thinking of going to places like the same.
Exactly like now your head goes to Let's set up two plays, let's get 15 20 yards and you know, let's set it up for Merrick Lover and let's let him, you know, try to win the game for us.
So I that's how we're thinking.
And then, you know, I'm sure you're gonna lose Thio.
Yeah, Where does your brain go? Because I can kind of remember mine the minute that he split the three tackles.
Not one, not two.
There was three tackles that McCleskey broke and it was nothing but turf in front of him.
And my brain made an immediate switch.
When that happened, what was your brain when he broke those three tackles? Yeah, I think you can kind of hear it in our voices when, like, just the the recognition from our eyes to our brain to our mouth like you can kind of almost feel that recognition in the half second where you see two defenders charging in the safety in the corner, both kind of colliding towards Jalen at the same time.
So again, you have to assume not fully.
But you have to say I should.
I shouldn't use the word assume.
You have to anticipate that he could get tackled there because then you gotta look at the clock.
You gotta check to see if there any timeouts left.
You got to make sure that your you have to be in football, especially when there are these sudden burst.
I would say in football, in baseball, with these sudden burst, you have to be very situation only aware.
And when we see the defenders coming in, you have Thio be ready to call the tackle its past, the sticks at that point, so the clock would reset, run up to the line.
Either spike it.
Or I remember now there was a time out remaining.
But if you have the time out, then you call the time out.
And then again, as you said, Clever comes out probably to set up the game winning field goal when he spins away the call off me saying McCluskey's name, I think I said, like, launches down the middle for mcleskey and then as soon as you hit the second like syllable of McCleskey is when we saw that collision of the defenders and you reckon you pointed out when you recognized and I saw the same thing you did was just that there was nobody in front of them.
Now he there were a couple guys chasing, which also, I think I remember like one of the guys kind of gave up on the play, maybe to save some time.
Like I don't wanna I don't wanna blame before, but, like, kind of kind of like All right, I guess this is happening.
Yeah, he throttled down at about the five yard line. I know what you're talking about.
So, like, I was like, That's the only like that.
But that's the only the closest defender.
There was nobody in front of him.
And it's like launches down the middle for mcleskey.
And my voice got high on the end of Galen's name and it stayed at that pitch, you know, and he breaks free Jalen McCleskey.
You know, touchdown.
They take the lead with three seconds to go, and then you see the the Mob Jalen from the entire roster, and then I just let my guy pad Mac be, go into his stream of consciousness, and he just goes off and go back and listen to pad because he is so enthused and so excited to see something like this happened.
And then at the end of it, he just forgot jail its name.
It's like he had to throw us.
We're gonna throttle like that.
He had a like, throttle down, remember, jailings name, but just that genuine enthusiasm and excitement like I mean, I was blown away.
It's It's one of the signature moments of our time last year working together, and it's one of the signature games I've gotten the chance to call Signature moments.
I've had the chance to call its's one of those things that you know SportsCenter will play over and over again on Twitter on their Twitter feed and on Instagram, and will use the call in the highlight.
And you know they'll they'll give us some time in the postgame to talk about Willie and the program, and we show a short interview with Jalen with Molly, as SportsCenter takes over, like when moments like that happened there easily and quickly recognized by everybody.
So there's producers of SportsCenter on Yep, let's go post game with that because that's good.
That's too cool.
We gotta. We gotta talk to that guy.
Let's get a few minutes with Adam and Madden.
Pat in the booth.
Let's get Molly's interview and then we'll do the recap because there's nothing.
There's nothing else going on really sport wise.
There's an NFL game, and that was it.
We're going to do the NFL game later.
We'll have plenty of coverage on that.
But this was cool. This was immediate.
This was exciting.
Let's let's replay that.
And And that gives moments like that a little bit more shelf life.
And, uh, you know, that's gonna be a moment that people still talk about Our calls in some in some form of action are gonna be, you know, associated with that moment.
And I'm perfectly fine with that.
I'm happy that you and I got a chance to be around for something like that.
It's it's rare that we get moments like that, you know, they're they're lightning in a bottle moments, and you just hope that you get a chance to witness more of those, uh, you know, and you hope you get a chance to see something special that night We did.
You know, I think a question that fans would probably have you've probably been asked her to is as a broadcaster, you know, you've got a guy like McAfee in the booth, are you? Look, we're all taught especially on television, to essentially shut up and let the pictures tell the story in those big moments.
But in addition, you've got a guy like McAfee.
Um, are you shutting up immediately? Because you know that in the back of your head Yeah, and I'm doing that.
Here's and here's what was so great about the guys.
There's definitely that traditional broadcaster, especially in college football.
Get a Saturday night, 90,000 people at you know, Lincoln, Nebraska, or 100,000 of Penn State or shoes or whatever, whatever, like pick your spot in whatever conference that's just got that magical or about it.
And yeah, I don't want to talk that much.
I like being a minimalist, not in the sense that I'm going to talk less.
I like being a minimalist in the sense of I've got this added element of crowd reactions, pictures that our director is going to show you.
That's an element that's an added weapon that you have to really, I think push the broadcast to a different level of appreciation.
You want to see fan reactions.
You wanna hear that noise on the biggest plays.
So there's something special about that.
The traditionalist in all of us is like Let that let that be a star as well.
Let that be elements of the broadcast that's appreciated when we were at When you're at the point where you have somebody like PAD, who's genuine enthusiasm is going to match, or maybe even further, the appreciation off crowd, the reactions and and again the crowd that night it's not.
It's not a it's not a massive stadium.
It's not, you know it's not.
It's not supposed thio mean.
Yeoman is 30 thousands strong, and it sounds and looks great when it's full.
But it's not gonna overtake you.
Crowd noise wise, the way that those other places that we talked about it, it's not meant to.
That's okay, but the reactions were so genuine and pure that when you add Pat's reaction to it, it feels like it matches the same level of intensity that everybody who was mobbing Jalen every fan who was going nuts in front of us and across the way because of that incredible play it feel and anybody was watching at home or watching in a bar or whatever you know in town that night.
Pat's kind of really accessing those same feelings that every every two lane Fanis feeling.
And in that sense, I feel like you just gotta let him go and you gotta let him experience this in his unique way.
And that's what makes him pat.
And that's what makes him a popular as he is.
And and I think it's in***bent on us to sometimes recognize that you know what that's also a weapon toe.
Have somebody like that who has been away from the sport for a while, who's back in and experiencing two lane in Houston again.
Nobody's gonna I'm not gonna pretend that this is Michigan, Ohio State.
We're not gonna do that.
But you know what? It's impactful for a lot of people, and it means a lot to a lot of people.
And it meant a lot to us calling that game.
And it meant a lot to that guy who clearly was enthused and excited to be back in a situation where something like that has the ability to take place, and I think you have tow.
You have to appreciate that as much as you would appreciate the wave of crowd noise that you know Neil and Stadium on a Saturday night.
Alright, so let's round out the evening, just like there's this special buzz to a locker room after a big moment after a big game, there's always a special buzz to a booth or to a broadcast crew.
After you witnessed something really big and leave the stadium, you go back to the hotel.
Whatever it ISS for you guys for Hasselbeck, McAfee, McGrath.
I mean, what moments do you remember after the game, talking it over with your crew with the production truck? What stands out about that buzz after the game? If I remember correctly, I think, uh, Pat and Mat both got invited back into the two lane locker room and I think had an opportunity to either speak with Willie or speak to some of the guys on the team.
And I think that meant a lot to to the crew, and that meant a lot to patent that we were just waiting, you know, like We're in our car like I'm just sitting in the car and I let those guys go because again, I've got a 5 a.m. flight the next day.
E remember distinctly excited Dodgers Rockies game to do the next night on TV in Los Angeles.
So which, of course, was a game that got added, like two days prior.
They're like, Hey, can you fly all L A.
On Friday and then, Oh, now I'm remembering I had a Sunday game in New England.
I had a Patriots game that Sunday, so I went to New Orleans to L. A.
L A Cross country to Boston and then did the Patriots game on Sunday and then flew back home after that.
So my head is already like, once we get through the car ride back to the hotel where there is that buzz, I can't believe that play.
All that quote was so good.
You know, like you're remembering that these air again guys who were doing their third games together with our crew and we get that, you know, we had a wild game the week prior with North Carolina and Wake Forest that went right down to the wire.
Uh, you know, they were still buzzing off that, and I remember that feeling.
I remember that feeling of still feeling like electric after the game.
And again I got to be up in four o'clock 3.
30 the next morning to go to the airport and I'm wired and that that doesn't go away.
I don't think when you have moments like that, regardless of sport, when you have that especially a night game, it is hard.
Thio, settle back in.
So I think I think I took that, you know, 45 minutes from the time that we were done to the time that we eventually got back to the hotel, I think I took that 45 minutes to just like living that and soak it in and appreciate it with the guys on with Molly and our crew.
And once I got back into the hotel, we're all like fried, you know, because Pat's been doing the pat had been doing the radio show his his radio show from sight.
Uh, you know, they've been traveling this fox truck around the country, so he'd been up earlier that morning through the radio show.
Then do the production meeting.
I have done his radio show, like from from this truck that day.
So all of us are just, like, buzzing.
And then we get back And like, Yeah, I'm gonna skip the bar, man.
I think i e go to bed.
So, you know, for me and and and and you know, there's two, especially when it comes to overlap season.
You gotta purge.
You know, you gotta purge that last game and and flush it from from your head and your mind and focus on the next thing is the next night I'm talking about, you know, Walker Buehler and and the Dodgers, you know, getting ready for the playoffs.
So it z, you don't get to live with it as long as you would like probably.
But it is nice toe have that was after the game and still feel wire and connected to it.
And like I said, the whole cycle of social media kept that alive for another day.
And, you know, even on the flight the next morning, I was still getting tweets from people like Oh, that was awesome. I just saw the highlight.
Thanks for coming in New Orleans like it was.
It was really great.
Hey, Thank you for doing this.
That was a pretty special nights.
Glad you could be a part of it on. Thanks for talking.
Appreciate your time.
Good to talk with you.
Any time. Good to see you.
Finding your footing in New Orleans as well.
After we got we got a chance to cross paths what feels like, ah, millennium ago in Lane Stadium the first time I've been there.
So I'm glad things going well for you to go.
Okay, that concludes the willing Brits show on the podcast, please.
Um, give Andrew Allah gorilla a follow Does pretty good work.
Also, please, um, subscribe to the podcast is called the current.
You'll be up to date with two lane athletics.
That is their new podcast.
So I'm glad to see this new podcast format.
So, um, that z my opinion.
When they said about this game against Houston, I was there.
I was there that night.
I saw that crowd.
Um, when when he Jalen McCluster made that touchdown, Just I was ecstatic of a game.
I mean, look, um, people don't realize what that game was a big deal.
It was an absolutely big deal to Lane in Houston.
When they when they take the field next time, that's that.
That's not gonna be the same result, because I'm pretty sure Houston most likely will be a different team now, Just like that Navy game two years ago, I was there at your misstated when they made that two point conversion and won the football game.
So, people, unless you read unless you get there, unless you watch the game stuff like that, you don't know what's going on until at that time.
So great interview with the voice of the game.
Guy had done the game last, UH, the game last year.
Houston and two lanes.
So that was also Willy Fritsch was on.
Greg Stewart was on so great.
Well, we freak show once again.
Thanks for joining us today.
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