Taking charge: Weeden caps strong spring with 4 TD passes
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, April 18, 2010
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STILLWATER — When the 2009 season ended and Zac Robinson had exhausted his eligibility, Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy could only hope that Brandon Weeden could become a viable quarterback.
After watching Weeden progress during the spring practice period, Gundy's hope has been supplanted by confidence that Oklahoma State does have a quarterback who can effectively execute the Cowboys' new, fast-paced spread passing attack.
"Yeah, I do feel better about it," Gundy said following Saturday's Orange-White game, during which Weeden was 22-of-34 passing for 257 yards. A fourth-year junior and a 26-year-old Edmond native, Weeden connected with Justin Blackmon for a 65-yard touchdown, with Tracy Moore for a 28-yard TD, with Colton Chelf for a 24-yard TD and with Josh Cooper for a 10-yard score.
"The last three weeks, (Weeden) got better every week," first-year offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said. "He can make every throw."
The scrimmage was witnessed by a Boone Pickens Stadium crowd of 7,000 and conducted during a light but steady rain. Because of a scoring system that awarded points to the offense not only for touchdowns and field goals but for big plays, and awarded points to the defense for sacks, tackles for losses and turnovers, the final score wound up 55-39 in favor of the offense.
"I was looking forward to seeing the offense execute without coaches being on the field, and our goal was to get around 100 plays," Gundy said. "We wanted them to go out and have an effective scrimmage and, obviously, we wanted to stay healthy."
On the first play, after collecting a short throw from freshman quarterback Johnny Deaton, running back Travis Miller was crushed by safety Markelle Martin. Miller is not believed to have been injured, but did not return to action. Otherwise, everyone seemed to emerge unscathed.
In actual time, the scrimmage lasted 87 minutes. OSU ran 106 plays (73 of which were pass plays).
"I think our pace was great," Weeden said. "I think the pace of the offense got better as we went on. We kept moving the ball and getting first downs. Coach Holgorsen stresses that — just get first downs and things will take care of themselves."
Said Cowboy defensive tackle Shane Jarka: "With our style of offense, it's 1-2-3 and the ball is gone."
Cooper was OSU's leading receiver, totaling seven catches for 53 yards. On his first carry of the evening, running back Kendall Hunter popped free for a 22-yard gain. He finished with 43 rushing yards on four attempts. Dan Bailey was good on field goals of 45, 41 and 34 yards.
Weeden's only significant game experience occurred during the second half of last season's home date with Colorado, when he was 10-of-15 passing for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Weeden rallied OSU to a 31-28 victory.
"Being a quarterback, confidence is huge," Weeden said on Saturday. "Once the Cotton Bowl was over, I knew I had the opportunity to win this job."
Offense 55, Defense 39
Dan Bailey 45 field goal
Bailey 41 field goal
Justin Blackmon 65 pass from Brandon Weeden (Baily kick)
Tracy Moore 28 pass from Weeden (Bailey kick)
Colton Chelf 24 pass from Weeden (Bailey kick)
Bailey 34 field goal
Josh Cooper 10 pass from Weeden (Bailey kick)
Adrian Richards 4 pass from Brayden Stringer
Rushing: Goodwin 6-45, Hunter 4-43, Smith 8-25, Roberts 5-7, Blackmon 1-3, Paulsen 1-2, Reagan 2-1, Chelf 2-(-2), Stringer 1-(-8), Deaton 3-(-10).
Passing: Weeden 22-34-0-257-4, Deaton 14-18-1-63-0, Stringer 9-14-0-61-1, Cl.Chelf 6-7-0-42-0.
Receiving: Cooper 7-53-1, Co.Chelf 5-69-1, T.Moore 5-61-1, Hunter 4-28, C.Moore 4-28, Harrison 4-16, Smith 4-3, MacDonald 3-25, Blackmon 2-73-1, Horton 2-21, Rockwell 2-19, Williams 2-8, Southwell 2-4, Miller 2-(-4), Paulsen 1-10, Brown 1-5, Richards 1-4-1
Tackles: Reagan 7, Mitchell 6, Moala 6, Furr 5, Lavey 5, Murray 4, Jo.Thomas 4, Long 4, Brown 3, Ja.Thomas 3, Gent 3, Fields 3, Jones 3, Martin 3, Zachary 3, Lowe 3, Moore 2, Batoba 2, Hart 2, Davis 2, May 2, Bailey 2, Sosanya 2, Alexander 2, Blatnick 2, Barker 2, Fields 1, Hutchins 1, Mundy 1, Chelf 1, Bassett 1, Hunter 1, Chinasa 1, Youman 1, Nicholas 1, Hale 1, Richards 1.
Tackles for loss: Jones 3-13, Hart 2-3, Martin 1-6, Fields 1-4, Moala 1-2, Thomas 1-1, Gent 1-1.
Interceptions: Ja.Thomas 1-0.
Pass breakups: Reagan 1, Furr 1, Long 1, Martin 1, Youman 1.
Bill Haisten 581-8397
Junior quarterback Brandon Weeden was 22-of-34 passing for 257 yards during Saturday's Orange-White game. ZACH GRAY/For the Tulsa World
Danje Martin (right) disrupts a pass intended for Adrian Richards during the OSU spring game on Saturday. ZACH GRAY/For the Tulsa World
Jeremy Smith breaks through a crowd of defenders during the OSU spring game on Saturday. Smith had eight carries for 25 yards. ZACH GRAY/For the Tulsa World