OSU: Three Questions
BY MATT BAKER World Sports Writer
Sunday, April 18, 2010
4/18/10 at 9:29 AM
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How will the new-look offense work?
As expected, new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen's much-hyped offense was fast and pass-heavy. In about an hour and a half, OSU ran 106 plays — 73 passes and 33 rushes.
"It's come a long way," wide receiver Justin Blackmon said. "We've basically got it down. All we pretty much need to do now is get tempo and convert."
The first-team offense converted well. Starting quarterback Brandon Weeden was 22-of-34 passing with four touchdowns.
But the tempo remains a work in progress. Weeden said the offense tries to rush at times and that he gets in trouble if he doesn't stop to make sure his teammates are ready.
"I think the pace of the offense got better as we went on," Weeden said. "We kept moving the ball and getting first downs. Coach Holgorsen stresses that, just get first downs and things will take care of themselves."
Who will emerge on defense?
The Cowboys lost nine defensive players — including the entire linebacker corps — who started in the Cotton Bowl, and OSU got a look of who will replace them Saturday.
Safety Markelle Martin (three tackles, one for a loss, and a pass breakup) impressed teammates and coaches, as did defensive end Richetti Jones (all three tackles for a loss, including a sack).
Cornerback Brodrick Brown, linebacker Justin Gent and defensive ends Ugo Chinasa and Jamie Blatnick and also drew praise from defensive coordinator Bill Young.
"We really have got a strong unit," Young said. "I don't know that anybody's just a superstar, but we've got a lot of guys that really care about each other and play hard together."
Can Josh Cooper be a top receiver?
Coaches have said the junior from Mustang has the skills to be an elite receiver in Holgorsen's offense. He looked the part Saturday.
Cooper caught a game-high seven catches for 53 yards. He made a great catch near the sideline for a touchdown near the end of the scrimmage and took hits well over the middle.
The 5-foot-11 Cooper got help from the rest of the first-team receivers. Blackmon, Colton Chelf and Union product Tracy Moore also caught touchdown passes from Weeden.
Receiver Justin Blackmon said of the team's new-look offense: "We've basically got it down. All we pretty much need to do now is get tempo and convert." ZACH GRAY/For the Tulsa World