By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
With just a handful of bowl games left in the college football season, two or three moments stand out from the early slate of bowl games.
For local fans, it was an especially gratifying New Year’s weekend with Tulsa and Oklahoma State pulling off decisive wins, led by a pair of former Enid Plainsmen.
Senior Trent Dupy capped a tremendous career at Tulsa by going out just as he had hoped. He told the News & Eagle prior to Tulsa’s 31-17 win over Iowa State Monday in the Liberty Bowl that “I definitely look forward to coming out with a victory and living the rest of my life as a Liberty Bowl champion.” Mission accomplished.
It’s tough for a center to get recognition — other than when called for holding — but Dupy, besides being his usual, steady self during the Liberty Bowl game, also pounced on a loose football that extended a Golden Hurricane drive.
During his career, Dupy has set a nice legacy for future players from the area, including former Enid Plainsmen Colby Scott, Kingfisher standout Derek Patterson and Hennessey brothers Derrick and Matt Luetjen, who all should be back next season at Tulsa.
• Of course then there was the performance of Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf in OSU’s 58-14 dismantling of Purdue in Tuesday’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. Chelf was named bowl MVP after he passed for three touchdowns.
Chelf’s saga this past season is well-known. After failing to win the starting nod in spring and finding himself behind a pair of freshmen on the depth chart, he stuck around and wound up starting the last five games of the season.
Chelf credited his brother Colton, another Enid product, with being an inspiration for sticking around, noting how his older brother fought his way on to the roster as a walk-on wide receiver and never gave up.
After the game, OSU head coach Mike Gundy hinted Chelf will be the No.1 quarterback heading into the 2013 campaign when he said “... when we start out in the spring, and they (the quarterbacks) go running out there, Clint is going to go running out there just like he did (Monday).” Reading between the lines, that would seem to imply Chelf will be No. 1 on the depth chart heading into spring. That is about as clear of an answer anybody is likely to get out of Gundy, who just this past week finally allowed Chelf to actually speak to the media before games.
• Finally, a funny and feel-good moment occurred in a bowl game likely missed by most folks as Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina State 38-24 Monday in the Music City Bowl.
After Commodores senior defensive back Trey Wilson intercepted a pass and appeared on his way to a pick-six, Vandy defensive tackle, 6-foot-2, 295-pound junior Jared Morse, stumbled into Wilson’s path, sending Wilson down to the turf. (Hey, it’s tough to see what’s coming from behind when it’s moving faster than you can go forward.)
Vandy head coach James Franklin was furious and ripped into Morse for an extended period of time on the sideline, but Wilson, seeing Morse’s dejection, went over and gave the big guy a hug, which was comical in and of itself as Wilson barely came up to Morse’s shoulder pads, and nearly couldn’t extend his arms around him. But it was a true teammate moment.
Vandy had to settle for a field goal, but the Commodores prevailed and Franklin went over to Morse later as well on the sidelines and soothed things over, proving it’s not just the wins and losses that can make for special moments in bowl games. Although winning certainly helps.
Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.