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Let’s take a closer look at that James Castleman catch

A deep dive on the best play of James Castleman’s career.



James Castleman is a large, large man. (USATSI)

James Castleman is a large, large man. (USATSI)

It was too much to be believed as it was happening.

Part of the reason for that is that it was taking place at 1 in the morning Oklahoma time but part of it was because, well forgive my unbelief, but Mason Rudolph and James Castleman were catching passes in an Oklahoma State bowl win and that’s just so far from where OSU was in October that it’s borderline unfathomable.

I did want to take one last look at the Castleman catch and rumble for 48 yards because it was one of my favorite plays in recent OSU history.

Deep dive time — let’s go.

As Castleman trots out onto the field Danny Kanell says the following on the broadcast:

“Would you trust a 320-lb. defensive lineman to carry the football in this situation?” His play-by-play guy responds “Would I? I would trust that guy to do almost anything.”

He turned out to be correct even though right before the play Kanell followed it with “they would never throw it, would they? A little play-action…”

The first amazing thing about the play is how smooth No. 91 looks when he goes in motion. We have fullbacks and tight ends that don’t look this fleet of foot when going in motion.

The next thing is No. 31. Poor No. 31. I’d fall down too if Castleman was running straight at me like that looking like he wanted to truck stick me. And he never recovers.

This is when Castleman knew he might be getting the look from Rudolph.

“Honestly, I didn’t think he was going to throw the ball to me until the play was going and the guy that was supposed to be guarding me fell,” Castleman said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, Mason’s going to throw me the ball. Oh gosh, what’s going to happen?'”

Then the actual catching of the thing. Gundy said Castleman probably has the best hands on the team and I believe him. This is an incredibly difficult maneuver — especially given the situation — and Castleman has never done it before in a game!

He performs like a champ and starts racking up his YAC immediately — watch No. 9 (poor guy) go limp as he tries to take down the big man. Also our friend No. 31 is back. He tries to help No. 9…kind of. It doesn’t amount to much.

Here’s what Castleman said about the catch.

“He threw it to me, concentrate, concentrate, catch. Took off and I started running and they hit me.” More like he hit them…

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 3.24.38 PM

Photo via USATSI

Here’s the video of that. Look at those paint chips!

Castleman kept going though even though he didn’t know whether No. 9 was dead.

“I didn’t go down so I kept running and I was like nobody has hit me yet and kept looking to see where they were at.”

This was the moment everyone on Washington’s sideline realized what was happening. Here’s a look via okstate.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 3.25.36 PM

Fella No. 1 is likely the kicker who didn’t make his grades and is just thankful he’s not on defense right now. Guy No. 2 is a fourth string QB looking for a 15-point play in case OSU scores.

No. 3 is like “welp, they did it again” and No. 4 will have a job in insurance by the time spring ball starts.

Castleman continued on. Watch him cut (“cut”) back towards the middle of the field as No. 20 jumps on his back for a ride.

“I glanced up at the screen (video board) and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, they’re right there.’ I tried cutting back in and that wasn’t happening and the check engine light came on and I had to go down.”

At this point in the broadcast you can hear Kanell screaming in the background “GO BIG FELLA!” which was pretty awesome.

The whole thing was just a truly unbelievable ending of a very bizarre season. In a lot of ways it almost had to end this way.

Chris Petersen, your thoughts?

“When you get in bowl games there are always some new little wrinkles and he (Castleman) got away from us a couple of times.”

I should say so. Gundy even admitted he should have gotten No. 91 involved in the offense earlier in the season. “I thought that I ought to be hit in the head with a board for not using him on offense.”

The Oklahoman turned the moment into a great headline and Castleman crushed the postgame quote:

Castleman also noted that this isn’t a game he would soon forget. “Coach (Glenn) Spencer talks about that you’re always going to remember your last game. I promise you, I’ll remember this last game.”

We all will.

Here’s the entire thing in video form (sorry, no sound).

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