One Great Season
You might remember how high I was on Oklahoma State as I was preparing for my 2009 One Great Season tour. I was a big Mike Gundy fan and I thought the Cowboys' offense was going to be loaded with a Heisman Trophy trio of candidates like Ohio State's offense was in the 2006 preseason.
Oklahoma State had Zac Robinson coming back at quarterback, Kendall Hunter at running back and Dez Bryant at wideout. For a variety of reasons, none of the three had the seasons that were expected of them, but in Stillwater, fans this year are saying better late than never. There's a new trio in town, and they've got the Cowboys atop the Big 12 South Division heading into next week's clash with instate rival Oklahoma, with a berth in the conference championship game on the line.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden had yet another stellar Saturday in his team's 48-14 demolition of Big 12 rival Kansas. He completed 31-of-43 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. In 11 outings this season — 10 of them wins — the 27-year-old junior has posted some impressive numbers, including:
+ seven games of 348 or more passing yards
+ seven games with a passer rating of 150 or better
+ six games of 28 or more completions
+ 30 touchdowns against 10 interceptions
+ an average line of 26-for-39 for 344 yards
Meanwhile, Hunter, now a senior, has put together one of the best seasons of any running back in the country. He's rushed for 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 133 yards a game and six per carry. In all of these categories, Hunter is among the top 10 in the country.
Yet the only member of the high-flying offense who's gotten any Heisman love this year has been sophomore wideout Justin Blackmon. Saturday's 10-catch, 130-yard effort was his sixth game this year in which he's recorded double-digit receptions. He also caught another touchdown pass, raising his total to 17. His 125 yards against Washington State in the season-opener turned plenty of heads, yet that was his lowest total of the year.
Defensively, Oklahoma State gave up some big numbers in the season's first half, but in its last four outings has only allowed 18 points per game. With an improving defense and an always dangerous offense, I think the Cowboys are more than capable of taking down those hated Sooners on Saturday and advancing to the Big 12 Championship game.