Brandon Weeden must read Pistols Firing because after I half-heartedly called him out last week he responded by metaphorically giving me, this site, and its readers the finger for 60 straight minutes on national television.
On a night when a very dastardly former running back and a very below average former quarterback shared a broadcasting booth at Boone Pickens Stadium, Weeden showed them (and the rest of the country) what an opulent right arm and the choicest set of playmakers in the league at his disposal looks like.
He was incredible in the first half, going 28 for 31 for 240 after completing his first 13 passes all while displaying a amalgam of deftness and firepower that makes him the most dangerous thrower in the league. The two fades he threw Blackmon were two of the prettiest thrown balls you’re ever going to see at this level.
The Cowboys took a 21-0 lead going to the locker room (even though it felt like it should have been about 35-0). They returned to a somewhat shaky 3rd quarter that saw them get outscored 7-6 before laying the hammer in the 4th.
OSU closed with a quick 1-2 punch of Joseph Randle through the air and Jeremy Smith on the ground to go up 34-14 before shutting the night down with a Quinn Sharp field goal to end it at 37-14.
As Freemason10 pointed out, the ability to bring Jeremy Smith and his herculean arms in fresh during the 4th quarter to slam the door is not an amenity most teams in the nation have. It’s going to win OSU more than a few games.
Speaking of Randle, he was as spectacular as dual-threat running backs get (a dual-threat running back is a thing, right?). His smooth mix of unadulterated power and calm elusiveness are a combination I’m not sure we’ve since Tatum Bell was running wild some 8-9 years ago. I’m not going to say he’s a better running back than Kendall Hunter was, but I think he might end up being a better player.
What we learned
We learned that this is a complete team. No, Arizona is not the most credible of gauntlets but it is a measurable enough opponent that you can mostly tell what you have and/or don’t have to work with for the the remainder of the year. And Gundy has a blacksmith’s worth of weapons to call upon, in all three phases of the game.
Mike Stoops agrees: “I think (OSU) is a much better team, a more complete team, this year than they were a year ago.”
I said it before the season started, but Randle is the cog that makes this machine whir. He’s not a necessity (Jeremy Smith will work just fine, thank you) but he’s an asset that takes them to the next level. And I think Monken is still figuring out how to use him.
Also, I continue to support the fact that Weeden is going to have the most outstanding statistical season in school history. His “struggles” last week against Louisiana did little to deter my thoughts on that and last night only emboldened the notion. He’s as special a player OSU has ever had play football at its school.
Finally, the defensive front was stunningly good. They only had one sack (Nigel Nicholas) and one turnover (Richetti Jones) but they set up camp in the backfield all night. It felt a little weird because Foles threw for 398 but OSU held Arizona to 41 yards rushing. When you basically take away one dimension of a team’s game (granted, not a strong dimension for Arizona), you can afford to make a few mistakes elsewhere. Plus the Wildcats were only 8-16 on third downs, that’s basically like a shutout with the way OSU usually defends on 3rd down.
The black was a strong look. As my buddy, Sheets, pointed out the orange looked a little red when it got some sweat on it but that’s literally my only complaint. After seeing the black I think the gray is going to look a lot better with everything else besides what they wore it with last Saturday. Though, like I said last night, it’s really weird that we’re 120 minutes deep into home games and haven’t seen an orange jersey yet.
Stats you need
Weeden was 42-53 for 397 and 2. School records in atempts and completions and the 7th most passing yards in a game in school history.
Blackmon had 12 for 128 and 2 extending his 100-yard games record to 14 games.
Joseph Randle had 210 all-purpose yards and 2 TD. He was a receiving yard shy of having a 100-100 game which I’m not sure has ever been done at OSU. Somebody get @glang1 on that.
Jesse Palmer mentioned that Weeden had 20 TD and 1 INT all-time in the redzone. Add 2 more TD and a pick to that and he now sits at 22-2. That’s pretty impressive.
A few other notes
The “Orange and Black ‘mon” sign with Blackmon in a dreadlocked Jamaican hat was sensational. Huge props to the student section for that.
The paddle people are extremely loud on TV. I wonder if Holder sneaked some ESPN mics down underneath the padded wall area over in the corner.
I’ve watched it 2-3 times and I can’t figure out if the Quinn Sharp fake punt was called in from the sideline or if it was his decision.
Why does it always look like Weeden is trying to toke up when he snaps his fingers at the sideline to get a play in? Has anyone else noticed that?
As one of my Twitter followers pointed out, there’s not a person alive who says “twenty-yard LINE” more unconventionally than Rece Davis.
As @danjhunt humorously pointed out while both games were being played last night: Brandon Weeden is older than Aaron Rodgers.
I love the little inside pitch handoff OSU ran to Michael Harrison up the left side. It seems like that play never doesn’t work.
I don’t know about you guys but I never really felt all week like this game was even remotely in doubt. Good team from a BCS conference at home on a Thursday night with a 2 TD line? Pshhhh, we got that.
Gundy: “I told the team after the game that I am really unsure, myself, of what [the chop block] rule is and we will identify what the problem is and we’ll get it cleaned up.” – I’m electroshocking myself to not make a joke here, but seriously I appreciate the honesty, it’s refreshing coming from a college coach. Especially when that college coach just got done coaching in a game in which the other team’s head coach bold-faced lied on a conference call to a group of reporters about whether or not his best player had surgery on Monday.
Quinn Sharp: “I thought the guy was going for my knees. So I didn’t really want to take a helmet to the kneecap. So I felt like at that moment that’s why I lowered my shoulder and tried to nudge him off.” – Sharp has more big hits this year than Markelle Martin.
Mike Stoops: “Their ability to run the football and throw it – they’re as good a back, as good a quarterback, as good a receiver as I’ve seen in a long time. This is a team, Oklahoma State will contend.” – Now they just have to beat your brother.
Stoops: “They’re not a good program, they’re turning into a great one.” – Duly noted.