01 September 2012
Dramatic welcome to college football! UTSA 33, South Alabama 31
Just like last year, UTSA and South Alabama traded momentum all afternoon, with some impressive big plays tempered by a mess of turnovers and penalties. It was fascinating to see things swing first one way, then the other, and continue back and forth throughout the game. In the end, though, we got one of the most dramatic endings we could have asked for.
In last year's game between the teams, UTSA kicker Sean Ianno had a chance for a close-range game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining. Whether due to a low trajectory, a slight struggle at the line, or some combination thereof, the kick was blocked. South Alabama went on to win in overtime. While the play does not go down as Ianno's fault, you have to believe he had been seen that kick in his dreams plenty of times over the last 11 months.
He got a chance to make up for it and then some on Saturday, as UTSA, trailing 31-30, reached the 34-yard line in the final 30 seconds. Ianno seized his chance, hitting a bomb from 51 yards that cleared the crossbar with plenty of room to spare, giving the Roadrunners a win in their first game as a transitional FBS team. It was an incredible moment both for Ianno, personally, and for the UTSA team and school.
It was also a lot of fun to be part of as a broadcast team! Cole Cubelic was a great partner for my first televised football broadcast - he seemed to know half the people we ran into at Ladd-Peebles Stadium - and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. I'm sure it was not perfect -- I know there were a few name hiccups, and I'm still adjusting to football play-by-play -- but I enjoyed the whole thing just as much as I hoped, and I can't wait to work on more college football games this fall.
My next one is Troy against Louisiana-Lafayette next Saturday, also here in Alabama, and I can only hope the ending lives up to today's.