AUSTIN, Texas -- As Mack Brown was trying to reconcile his team’s 55-17 loss to Oklahoma, he happened upon the score to the Kansas-Oklahoma State game.
“You see Oklahoma State is up 56-7, that's a morale boost after you just got your rear end kicked,” the Texas coach said. “I didn't even show the players.”
By now, all the players surely know that OSU hung 70 on Kansas. They also know OSU is capable of doing it again.
The Cowboys are the top scoring offense in the NCAA at 51.4 points, have the No. 2 total offense at 577.4 yards, have the No. 2 pass offense at 431.2 yards and have a quarterback, Brandon Weeden, who is third nationally in pass efficiency.
It’s Weeden, who will turn 28 this week and is three months older than Green Bay’s Super Bowl-winning QB Aaron Rodgers, that makes everything go for the Cowboys’ offense.
“You go back and watch him in the first half against A&M when you could have considered them rattled, they only scored three points,” Brown said. “And then for him to have the maturity to come right back in the second half and not even blink.”
Blink and you might miss something with OSU. The Cowboys have 39 plays of 20 yards or more. Only six times when OSU produced such a play did the drive not end in points.
On the flip side of that, Texas has been decent in not allowing explosive plays. Even against Oklahoma, Texas only allowed two pass plays for more than 20 yards. But there was a 64-yard run for a touchdown.
Oklahoma State, with wide receiver Justin Blackmon, has the chance to stretch the field in much the same manner as Oklahoma did. Blackmon is the nation’s fifth leading receiver with 9.2 receptions per game. Joseph Randle provides the ground attack. The senior is averaging 96.8 yards and five rushes of 20 yards or more.
The Cowboys can also score quickly. They have 15 touchdowns on drives of 1:49 or less. The longest touchdown drive of the season was 4:34.
The diversity and explosiveness is due to Weeden’s abilities in the huddle and the pocket.
“He has the maturity to sit back there, and if you cover Blackmon, he can run the ball or throw the ball to the other guys who have caught a bunch of balls,” Brown said. “You can't rattle him. This guy is the same way. He did it against us last year. He just stands back there, looks around and he doesn't miss many throws. He's very confident.”