7:00 PM ET, September 3, 2011
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, but little seemed to have changed Saturday night for the Cowboys -- they still rolled up huge numbers.
Brandon Weeden completed 24 of 39 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns for Oklahoma State (1-0) in the debut for Monken, who replaced Dana Holgorsen, now the head coach at West Virginia.
The Cowboys became known for wide-open offense under Holgorsen, averaging 520.2 yards per game last season en route to an 11-2 finish. Monken, true to his word, didn't change things much as Oklahoma State rolled up 666 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1), the ninth-best total in school history.
"There were a number of things that the players have confidence in," Monken said. "We're going to continue to do what we feel like gives us the best chance to move the ball. ... There's a number of things that they did in the past that I think, as I've said many times, we'd be silly to change."
New Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth didn't fare as well in his first game. He's the third coach of the Ragin' Cajuns to make his debut against Oklahoma State, and he fared like the other two, Nelson Stokley and Jerry Baldwin. Hudspeth's team scored two defensive touchdowns but did little offensively until the game had been decided.
"We've got to do a better job of putting together some drives," Hudspeth said. "Our defense was on the field for, like, 56 plays in the first half alone."
Oklahoma State has won all eight meetings against Louisiana-Lafayette and is 6-1 in season openers under coach Mike Gundy. The Cowboys have won 16 straight home openers and are 26-2 all-time against Sun Belt Conference schools.
Offensively, "I thought we could have played better," Gundy said. "But I like it when we don't play as good and score 61."
Blackmon, last year's Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver, had eight catches and posted his 13th straight game of at least 100 yards receiving, though he didn't score. He said he's not disappointed that he didn't extend his NCAA record for games with triple-digit receiving yards and at least one touchdown.
"It didn't bother me at all," Blackmon said. "I didn't even think I had 100 yards ... As long as we've got the winning streak going, that's all that matters to me."
Another receiver, Tracy Moore, had seven catches for 112 yards, career highs in both categories, while Randle carried 22 times and balanced out the offense with strong runs. About the only missteps were three interceptions thrown by Weeden -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- although one of those bounced off a receiver before it was picked.
Weeden, playing in his 18th game with the Cowboys, moved into fourth place on the school's career passing yardage list with 4,921 yards.
Sporting new gray uniform tops with difficult-to-read orange numbers -- and their highest preseason ranking -- the Cowboys started slow but gathered steam as the game progressed, scoring three touchdowns in a five-minute span in the second quarter and leading 34-10 at halftime.
Randle scored Oklahoma State's first touchdown on a 4-yard run late in the first quarter and had another 4-yard scoring run in the second quarter. In between, Jeremy Smith scored on a 1-yard run and Weeden hit Josh Cooper on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Quinn Sharp added field goals of 27 and 22 yards to bookend the touchdowns, the latter on the final play of the half, and made kicks from 46 and 23 yards in the second half.
The Rajin Cajuns' offense sputtered. Quarterback Blaine Gautier completed 13 of 26 passes for 106 yards and Louisiana-Lafayette finished with 320 yards -- 147 of those in the fourth quarter.
"When it's your first game with a new team, especially against a team ... with two Heisman Trophy candidates, to see your team come out and never give in, we've got a resilient group," Hudspeth said.
In the first half, the Ragin' Cajuns managed only 101 yards -- 43 of those on a trick play, on which Gautier lateraled to third-string quarterback Brad McGuire, who then passed to Javone Lawson. That led to a 23-yard field goal by Brett Baer, which briefly pulled Louisiana-Lafayette within a touchdown at 10-3.
The Cowboys limited Louisiana-Lafayette's star tight end, Ladarius Green, to one catch for minus-1 yard and the Ragin' Cajuns didn't score an offensive touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter.
Louisiana-Lafayette's first two touchdowns came on defense. In the second quarter, Dwight Bentley intercepted a pass that glanced off Cooper and returned it 38 yards. After Weeden hit Moore on a 19-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, he threw an ill-advised ball over the middle, which Jemarlous Moten intercepted and returned 50 yards for a touchdown for the Ragin' Cajuns.
"I thought Weeden pressed a couple of times," Gundy said. "I mentioned to him that he doesn't have to make every single play. The second interception he threw for a touchdown, he was just pressing and he doesn't have to do that. But he'll figure that out."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Joseph Randle scored Oklahoma State's third touchdown in the second quarter.
Gameball goes to... Todd Monken. Oklahoma State racked up 666 yards in its new OC's debut.
Stat of the game... 16. Oklahoma State has won 16 straight home openers and is 26-2 vs. the Sun Belt.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-16||10-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-1|
|FG||10:48||Quinn Sharp 27 Yd||0||3|
|TD||03:16||Joseph Randle 4 Yd Run (Quinn Sharp Kick)||0||10|
|FG||00:16||Brett Baer 23 Yd||3||10|
|TD||11:17||Jeremy Smith 1 Yd Run (Quinn Sharp Kick)||3||17|
|TD||08:38||Josh Cooper 15 Yd Pass From Brandon Weeden (Quinn Sharp Kick)||3||24|
|TD||06:36||Joseph Randle 4 Yd Run (Quinn Sharp Kick)||3||31|
|TD||01:31||Dwight Bentley 38 Yd Interception Return (Brett Baer Kick)||10||31|
|FG||00:00||Quinn Sharp 22 Yd||10||34|
|FG||08:17||Quinn Sharp 46 Yd||10||37|
|FG||03:03||Brett Baer 29 Yd||13||37|
|TD||02:23||Tracy Moore 19 Yd Pass From Brandon Weeden (Quinn Sharp Kick)||13||44|
|TD||01:23||Jemarlous Moten 50 Yd Interception Return (Brett Baer Kick)||20||44|
|TD||14:55||Michael Harrison 15 Yd Pass From Brandon Weeden (Quinn Sharp Kick)||20||51|
|TD||08:14||Blaine Gautier 1 Yd Run (Brett Baer Kick)||27||51|
|FG||05:36||Quinn Sharp 23 Yd||27||54|
|TD||02:52||Isaiah Anderson 7 Yd Pass From Clint Chelf (Quinn Sharp Kick)||27||61|
|TD||00:17||Qyendarius Griffin 3 Yd Run (Brett Baer Kick)||34||61|