NCAAF

Tessitore and Pollack still awed by Owusu catch

It was just before 1 a.m. ET on the east coast when Stanford wide receiver Francis Owusu made a catch that very well could be the Catch of the Year in college football. Even at that late hour, the reverberations from the absolutely incredible reception could be felt throughout social media and it wasn’t just Owusu who had people in awe.

ESPN play-by-play man Joe Tessitore, who seems to have a knack for calling the dramatic, was on the UCLA-Stanford game (won by the Cardinal) with David Pollack and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Kaylee Hartung handling sideline duties.

To me it was the greatest touchdown catch I have ever seen. – Joe Tessitore

Front Row spoke with Tessitore and Pollack to get their perspectives on the catch that caught nationwide attention:

Joe Tessitore

Are you still as amazed today with the catch as you were in the moment?
The thing that is most special about a play-by-play career, when you do it at the highest level, is that you can do something for 20 years – week after week, day after day – and there is always going to be something new around the corner that amazes you. I don’t think there are a lot of careers you can say that about. Today, reflecting back, I realized how much the play grabbed everyone else as much as it grabbed me in the moment. I received texts today from relatives, from various friends. . . in fact, I received one text from a buddy of mine that was flying in the air watching the game. It was a play that just grabbed everybody.

Easily the catch of the year and, honestly, one of the best catches in college football history. – David Pollack

Is it the best TD catch you’ve ever called?
It is because of how the front end of the play happen. The one advantage I have when I am calling a game, I can see what is happening all over the field – the setup, the personnel, etc. On that play, I was watching the personnel and I saw where [quarterback] Kevin Hogan set up [as a wide receiver]. I was anticipating a trick play coming – which I think you can hear in my call as the play developed. Then, when the ball is in the air, I could tell, from being in-person, the ball was under thrown – that he couldn’t see the ball cause of the player shielding him, couldn’t see what he was catching and then add in it was pass interference. So I ‘knew’ he couldn’t possibly catch it. Then, he did. To me it was the greatest touchdown catch I have ever seen.

David Pollack

Your thoughts on the catch?
As I said right away, Alabama’s Tyrone Prothro comparison came to me, but Owusu’s catch was hands down the best catch I have seen in game where I was an analyst. Think about it. . . he couldn’t see the ball, just anticipated and felt it. Easily the catch of the year and, honestly, one of the best catches in college football history.

Gracie Blackburn contributed to this post

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