The 51st Fiesta Bowl was one for the ages, as several records were broken in the largest comeback victory the New Year’s bowl game has ever seen. Notre Dame stormed out to a 28-7 lead in the first half, with quarterback Jack Coan throwing for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in what looked to be a blowout.
Oklahoma State quickly reminded everyone that there was plenty of time left on the clock by taking the ball all the way down the field in just 39 seconds to score their second touchdown of the game and cut the lead to 14 heading into halftime.
Largest comeback in Fiesta Bowl history
The second half was all Oklahoma State, as they outscored Notre Dame 23-7 and didn’t let them score until late in the fourth quarter in a last-stitch effort by the trailing Irish. The 9th-ranked Cowboys went on to win 37-35 in a record-shattering offensive showdown.
The 21-point comeback victory was the largest in Fiesta Bowl history, as well as the largest in Oklahoma State program history. Their previous largest comeback victory was 20 points against Colorado in 1997.
More Fiesta Bowl records broken
The records did not stop there, as this game was a complete offensive slugfest the entire way. Both quarterbacks broke the previous total yardage record of 431, with Notre Dame’s Coan setting the new record of 509 yards. OSU’s Spencer Sanders finished the game with 496 total yards.
Coan set two additional records and tied one more in Notre Dame’s loss. In addition to the total yardage record, he finished with the most pass attempts (68), most pass yards (509) and tied for most touchdowns (5).
On the winning side, Oklahoma State pulled off the upset victory, defeating the No. 5-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Sanders was named Fiesta Bowl MVP, finishing with 371 pass yards, 125 rush yards and four pass touchdowns. Wideout Tay Martin tied the Fiesta Bowl record for receiving touchdowns with three scores to add to his 10 receptions and 104 receiving yards to lead the way for the Cowboys.
The attendance was night and day compared with last year, as 49,550 fans packed State Farm Stadium for the 51st edition of the bowl game.