Posted on: September 24, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 7:41 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. In a game that very much mirrored the 38-35 win for Oklahoma State over Texas A&M last season, the Cowboys came back from a 17-point deficit at halftime to win only the third matchup in Kyle Field history that featured two teams ranked in the top ten. Brandon Weeden threw 60 passes and finished the game with 437 yards and two touchdowns. Of Weeden's 437 yards and 47 completions, Josh Cooper, Justin Blackmon and Hubert Anyiam were on the receiving end of 31 of them for 336 yards.
HOW OKLAHOMA STATE WON. With a lot of help from the Aggies. After being stymied for the first 30 minutes on offense, and picking up only a field goal, the Cowboys came out and scored a quick touchdown on their first drive of the second half to cut the A&M lead to 20-10. Then the cavalcade of Aggie turnovers began, as Ryan Tannehill threw 2 interceptions and Kenric McNeal fumbled on three straight Texas A&M possessions. The Cowboys would use those turnovers to vault into the lead and never give it up.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It wasn't official until Ryan Tannehill's pass was deflected and picked off -- Tannehill's third interception of the game -- by James Thomas in the final minutes of the game. A few plays later Justin Blackmon was running out the back of the end zone -- without dropping the ball first, but more on that later -- to kill the clock and give two free points to the Aggies.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. There is no game on Oklahoma State's schedule in any year that is bigger than its date with Oklahoma at the end of each season. With this win, the odds are pretty good that Bedlam will also serve as the de facto Big 12 championship game.
WHAT TEXAS A&M LOST. For the first 30 minutes of this game, Texas A&M was giving one of the most impressive performances I'd seen from any team in college football this season. On both offense and defense. Then halftime came and I don't know what happened in that Aggie locker room, because this was not the same team in the second half. Because of that, Texas A&M can likely say goodbye to any chance of leaving the Big 12 as the conference's defending champion.
THAT WAS CRAZY. So I saw Justin Blackmon drop two passes in this game that were catchable in my opinion. That alone is crazy enough as it is because I'm not sure Justin Blackmon drops anything. But then somethine stranger happened. Blackmon was about to waltz into the end zone for a touchdown that would have given Oklahoma State an 11-point lead, and then this happened.
Image via Mocksession
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And it won rather easily. Things got off to a slow start but the Cowboys offense picked things up in the second quarter and went into the half with a 34-10 lead and never really looked bad. The Oklahoma State offense finished with 666 total yards in the game, with Brandon Weeden throwing for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns. Weeden threw 3 interceptions as well -- two of them were pick sixes -- which kept the Cajuns from getting completely destroyed. Justin Blackmon had one of his typical 8 receptions for 144 yards performances, though he never saw the end zone. Tracy Moore had 7 catches for 112 yards and a score, while Joseph Randle stepped into Kendall Hunter's old role, finishing with 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Just too much firepower on offense for Louisiana-Lafayette to handle. When a team has so many weapons on offense it's near impossible to stop them, and the Cajuns just couldn't. The defense played a lot better than the score suggests as well, as 14 of Louisiana's points came on interception returns.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Louisiana-Lafayette hung tough for a quarter, but once Josh Cooper caught a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-3 halfway through the second quarter, you knew this one was done.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. A game it was supposed to, and nothing much more really. Though I suppose you can argue that the offensive performance by the Cowboys justifies the team being ranked in the top ten to start the season.
THAT WAS CRAZY. Last season Brandon Weeden threw 1 interception for every 39 pass attempts. On Saturday night he threw 3 in 39 pass attempts.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:10 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As part of the CBSSports.com season preview, here are my choices for the Preseason All-Big 12 team.
Landry Jones, Junior, Oklahoma
This is the rather obvious choice, as while there are some good quarterbacks in the Big 12, there's only one who plays for the team many see as a favorite to win the national title, and one whose name comes up in the Heisman Trophy discussion. That would be Landry Jones, and he deserves the hype. In his first two seasons with the Sooners, Jones has thrown for 7,916 yards, 64 touchdowns and only 26 interceptions.
Also watch for: Though he didn't claim the starting job until half the season had passed, Ryan Tannehill was a big part of Texas A&M's strong finish in 2010. There's also the supremely talented Robert Griffin III at Baylor, and you can't forget about Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State.
Cyrus Gray, Senior, Texas A&M
While the Aggies deployed a two-headed monster at running back last season, Cyrus Gray was the most productive of the bunch. Gray rushed for 1,133 yards in 2010 and had 12 touchdowns. I wouldn't count on seeing Gray's production drop off at all as he enters his final season in College Station.
Roy Finch, Sophomore, Oklahoma
Finch didn't get a lot of playing time last season, but now that DeMarco Murray has moved on, the speedy back is going to see a lot of action this season, and in an offense as potent as Oklahoma's, that means we're likely to see some big numbers from the little man.
Also watch for: Christine Michael was part of Texas A&M's dynamic duo with Cyrus Gray last season, and he's going to have a big role in 2011 as well. There's also Eric Stephens at Texas Tech who could open some eyes with Tommy Tuberville implementing a more balanced attack and five returning starters on the offensive line. There's also Bryce Brown at Kansas State, and if Brown can live up to all the hype he had coming out of high school, then he may end up being the best back in the entire conference. Texas will be hoping that Malcolm Brown can be the feature back it's been looking for as well.
Justin Blackmon, Junior, Oklahoma State
It's going to be hard for Justin Blackmon to match his 2010 numbers in 2011, but the fact is that his production was so insane last year, that he won't have to. Take away 500 yards and 5 touchdowns from his total last year and Blackmon still finishes with 1,282 yards and 15 touchdowns. The craziest thing of all, however, is if he surpasses last year's numbers, nobody will be all that surprised either.
Ryan Broyles, Senior, Oklahoma
Broyles could have left for the NFL last year, but he decided to return for another season in Norman and Landry Jones couldn't be happier about it. Broyles is coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season with at least 14 touchdowns, and a third straight year with those numbers is likely on its way.
Also watch for: The Big 12 is not hurting for strong wide receivers. While Broyles and Blackmon will get the most attention, Kenny Stills and Josh Cooper are excellent second options for their respective squads. Then there's Kendall Wright at Baylor, Ryan Swope and Jeff Fuller at Texas A&M, T.J. Moe at Missouri, and don't forget about Mike Davis at Texas.
Michael Egnew, Senior, Missouri
Egnew is listed as a tight end, but realistically, he plays more like a wide receiver. Egnew caught 90 passes for 762 yards last year with five touchdowns, and he should see plenty of balls coming his way again this year as James Franklin looks to fill Blaine Gabbert's shoes.
Also watch for: While wide receiver catch most of the balls in the Big 12, there are some solid tight ends. Keep an eye on Oklahoma's James Hanna, Nehemiah Nicks with Texas A&M and Tim Biere at Kansas.
Center Ben Habern, Junior, Oklahoma
After redshirting in 2008, Habern has started 24 games at center for the Sooners over the last two seasons. He led Oklahoma with 123 knockdowns in 2010, including 16 against Colorado and was an honorable mention on the All-Big 12 team last season.
Guard, Lonnie Edwards, Senior, Texas Tech
Edwards is a key part of the Texas Tech offensive line that returns every starter this season. He'll play an even larger role this season as Texas Tech will likely run more than we've seen in the past. The 6-foot-4 320 pounder has started 23 games in Lubbock and was an All-Big 12 second team selection in 2010.
Guard, Lane Taylor, Junior, Oklahoma State
Taylor is the most experience member of the Oklahoma State offensive line, as he was the only returning starter in 2010. He's made 24 consecutive starts for the Cowboys, and aside from keeping Brandon Weeden off his back, Taylor was an first team academic Big 12 selection as well.
Tackle, Levy Adcock, Senior, Oklahoma State
They don't come much bigger than Adcock, and the 6-foot-6 322-pound tackle used his size awfully well in 2010. Adcock was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by both the coaches and the AP last season (a unanimous selection by the AP) after winning the starting job in August last year and never letting it go.
Tackle, Kelechi Osemele, Senior, Iowa State
Oh wait, they do come bigger than Adcock. Osemele checks in at 6-foot-6 and 347 pounds. Osemele got his start playing both guard and tackle in 2008 but moved to left tackle full time in 2009 and hasn't moved since, starting 30 straight games. This will be a name you hear called early in the NFL draft next spring.
Also watch for: Offensive lineman may spend most of their time living in anonymity and working as a unit, but Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Oklahoma State's Grant Garner are a couple other names you should get familiar with. Missouri's Elvis Fisher definitely would have made the list if not for his season-ending knee injury.
DE Frank Alexander, Senior, Oklahoma
Alexander only started in nine games for the Sooners last season, but still managed to finish second on the team in tackles for loss (13) and sacks (7). In other words, he spends a lot of his time in backfields disrupting plays before they even get a chance to start.
DE Brad Madison, Junior, Missouri
Madison had a break out season in 2010 and proved to be one of the top playmakers on Missouri's defensive line. Madison ended the season leading the Tigers defense in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (11). He was named to the All-Big 12 second team for his efforts, and now that he'll be replacing Aldon Smith his name is one that many opposing quarterbacks will have drilled into their brains as they prepare to face Missouri.
DT Kheeston Randall, Senior, Texas
An anchor on the defensive line for the Longhorns, Randall was an honorable mention for the All-Big 12 last season. This year I believe he'll be moving up the ladder and having an even bigger impact. Randall finished second on the team with 13 tackles for loss in 2010, and also had a big impact on special teams, blocking two kicks.
DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, Senior, Texas A&M
In Texas A&M's 3-4 defense, Jerod-Eddie sees a lot of time at defensive end, but he's a defensive tackle in purpose. Think of Marcell Dareus at Alabama last season. While Jerod-Eddie doesn't spend a lot of time in the backfield blowing up plays, he uses his size and strength to stuff the run at the point of attack and allow Aggie linebackers to flow freely to the ball.
Also watch for: Oklahoma's Ronnell Lewis only started the final four games for the Sooners last season, but he was incredibly productive in those four games. Starting all season could see him put up some ridiculous numbers. Jacqueis Smith of Missouri combines with Madison to give the Tigers a big push on the edges.
Jake Knott, Junior, Iowa State
There weren't many plays run against the Iowa State defense last season in which Jake Knott wasn't in on the tackle. He led the conference with 130 tackles last season and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection because of it. He'll be bringing that same nose for the football back to the Iowa State defense this season, and though he broke his arm in spring camp, he should be good to go when the season starts.
Garrick Williams, Senior, Texas A&M
Williams tallied 112 tackles in 2010, and now that Michael Hodges and Von Miller are no longer in College Station, he'll be playing an even larger role in 2011. I'm not sure Williams will be able to completely fill Von Miller's shoes in the Aggie defense, but he may end up being just as important to the defense as Miller was.
Keenan Robinson, Senior, Texas
Robinson was all over the place for the Longhorns in 2010. He finished the season with 113 tackles, 2 for a loss, and also had 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Oh, and he's also a standout on special teams. He is literally all over the field on defense, and he's poised for another big season in 2011.
Also watch for: It was hard to pick just three linebackers in this conference, as there are plenty of other good options. Names like A.J. Klein (Iowa State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Caleb Lavey (Oklahoma State), Emmanuel Acho (Texas), Sean Porter (Texas A&M), Zaviar Gooden (Missouri) and Huldon Tharp (Kansas) are some of those options. Also, if it weren't for an injury that is going to keep him out for eight weeks, Oklahoma's Travis Lewis would have been an easy selection to the team. However, due to that injury, Lewis' replacement Corey Nelson is another name to watch out for.
CB Jamell Fleming, Senior, Oklahoma
Big 12 quarterbacks will test Jamell Fleming at their own risk in 2011. In his first full season as a starter last year Fleming had 5 interceptions, and proved himself quite the playmaker in the Oklahoma secondary. He's also not afraid to create some contact, tallying 71 tackles with 8.5 for a loss. He's a very good player in what may be the best secondary the Big 12 has.
CB Coryell Judie, Senior, Texas A&M
Judie finished second in the Big 12 in interceptions last season behind Fleming with 4. He also broke up 4 passes and made 57 tackles for the Aggies. His impact is also felt on special teams, as he proved to be one of the most explosive kick returners in the conference last season, averaging over 30 yards a return with 2 touchdowns.
S Markelle Martin, Senior, Oklahoma State
This is not a man that wide receivers want to have a rendevous with over the middle of the football field, as Martin can bring the wood with the best of them. What makes Martin more dangerous, though, is that he improved his coverage skills in 2010 and picked off three passes. He's the type of safety that can separate you from the ball physically, or just take it away from you in the air.
S Tony Jefferson, Sophomore, Oklahoma
2010 may have been Jefferson's first season of college ball, but you couldn't tell by watching him play. The Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year started 9 games for the Sooners in 2010 and finished the season with 65 tackles (7 for a loss) with 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 7 passes broken up. I expect those numbers to improve in 2011 as this kid is only beginning to tap into his potential.
Also watch for: Oklahoma's Demontre Hurst could have been on my first team and given the Sooners secondary three of the four spots, but just because he didn't doesn't mean he's somebody quarterbacks should test too often. Keep your eyes on Blake Gideon (Texas), Trent Hunter (Texas A&M), Leonard Johnson (Iowa State) and Prince Kent (Baylor) too.
K Grant Ressel, Senior, Missouri
P Quinn Sharp, Junior, Oklahoma State
KR Coryell Judie, Senior, Texas A&M
PR Ryan Broyles, Senior, Oklahoma
Tags: A.J. Klein, Aldon Smith, All-Big 12 Team, Arthur Brown, Baylor, Ben Habern, Big 12, Blaine Gabbert, Blake Gideon, Brad Madison, Brandon Weeden, Bryce Brown, Caleb Lavey, Christine Michael, Corey Nelson, Coryell Judie, Cyrus Gray, DeMarco Murray, Demontre Hurst, Elvis Fisher, Emmanuel Acho, Eric Stephens, Frank Alexander, Garrick Williams, Grant Garner, Grant Ressel, Huldon Tharp, Iowa State, Jacqueis Smith, Jake Knott, Jamell Fleming, James Franklin, James Hanna, Jeff Fuller, Josh Cooper, Justin Blackmon, Kansas, Kansas State, Keenan Robinson, Kelechi Osemele, Kendall Wright, Kenny Stills, Kheeston Randall, Landry Jones, Lane Taylor, Leonard Johnson, Levy Adcock, Lonnie Edwards, Luke Joeckel, Malcolm Brown, Marcell Dareus, Markelle Martin, Michael Egnew, Mike Davis, Missouri, Nehemiah Nicks, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Preseason All-Big 12 Team, Prince Kent, Quinn Sharp, Robert Griffin III, Ronnell Lewis, Roy Finch, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Swope, Ryan Tannehill, Sean Porter, T.J. Moe, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tim Biere, Tom Fornelli, Tommy Tuberville, Tony Jefferson, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Travis Lewis, Trent Hunter, Zaviar Gooden
Posted on: January 15, 2011 5:05 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Last week, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden and wideout Justin Blackmon delighted Cowboy fans by declaring that each would return for their senior seasons at OSU. Blackmon was widely considered one of the top wide receivers in the draft if he declared, while Weeden will turn 28 years old in the middle of the 2011 season and would therefore presumably need to maximize his availability to the NFL.
Thing of it is, though, Weeden only has one year of NCAA experience as a starter, and there isn't exactly a market for a 28-year-old, one-year collegiate starter (Weeden was a prospect in the Yankees and Dodgers organizations, but that obviously didn't pan out). NFL teams are increasingly aware that starting experience is a helpful -- if not watertight -- determinant in whether a quarterback will succeed at the next level, after all, so trading one year of NFL salary for one year of continued collegiate experience could very well work in Weeden's favor.
Moreover, Weeden doesn't exist in a football-centric vacuum, and he is an actual person with more of a future to consider than "potential NFL quarterback." Weird to consider, yes, but such is life. To that end, Weeden made a decision that will draw the envy of millions of middle-aged men by walking on to the Oklahoma State golf team. Here's what team coach Mike McGraw told The Oklahoman earlier:
Weeden's decision is enviable for any number of reasons. His off-season practice and film time will time-intensive, as befits a starting quarterback, but unless head coach Mike Gundy is clinically insane, that practice time will also be light on contact. Weeden's spare time, then, will be spent on his senior year of school work and on golf. So then: playing football without getting hit, finishing a degree, and playing golf? If that's not the best way to fully occupy one's self as a 27-year-old, we can't think of what else might be.
Moreover, playing golf is a legitimate business skill, so in its own weird, indirect way, Weeden's decision to play golf instead of go to the NFL is probably going to be a better long-term decision. Weeden's NFL career is going to be short and light on snaps no matter what -- his minor-league baseball career ensured that -- so he may as well get his degree in business management and get his golf game as right as possible ASAP. These skills, not throwing a football, are going to help him earn money for the rest of his life; that he gets to throw a football to guys like Blackmon and Josh Cooper for one more year in exchange for that degree and that year with the golf team seems like an outstanding compromise. This, clearly, is the value of long-term thinking.