STILLWATER—The performance by the Oklahoma State offense Saturday night against Louisiana-Lafayette was not flawless.
But a stretch at the beginning of the second quarter showed that the Cowboys' quick-strike attack is still alive under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Brandon Weeden spread the ball around, but particularly began finding his main target in Justin Blackmon. Joseph Randle complemented the passing game by whipping off some nifty runs in his first career start.
And in less than five minutes, the Cowboys scored 21 unanswered points, which created the distance necessary to come away with a 61-34 victory against the Ragin' Cajuns in their season opener at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“The second quarter was great — run plays, blocking up front,” Weeden said. “Everything just clicked. It was one of those deals that no matter what you call, it was going to work.
“We need four quarters of that.”
After starting the game, 4-for-10 passing, Weeden “got in the flow” of the game once the clock switched to the second quarter. He completed all seven passes — to five different receivers — on OSU's first possession of the period before Jeremy Smith took the ball in from a yard out to give the Pokes a 17-3 lead.
“I got a feel for what (the ULL defense was) trying to do,” Weeden said. “They were blitzing and they were trying to put pressure on me and keep me on the ground. I was just getting the ball out quick, and I was throwing to the right guy and it was on time. Early on, it was a little bit late.”
And when ULL went three-and-out on its next two possessions, OSU wasted little time.
The Cowboys scored 14 points in 2:18 on a pair of four-play drives, one capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Weeden to Josh Cooper and the other on a 4-yard score from Randle.
Just like that, the Cowboys led 31-3.
And those three consecutive touchdown possessions, Blackmon caught five passes for 76 yards to help him reach his 13th consecutive game with 100 yards receiving by halftime.
In all, OSU's 666 yards of total offense was the ninth-best output in school history.
But that's something that OSU fans have become used to seeing — and what the Cowboys themselves have come to expect.
“We didn't play perfect or anything, but I think there's a lot of potential in this offense,” Randle said. “We did a lot of good things. But we had a few mistakes, and we're going to go fix them.”
Those mistakes included Weeden's three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. And after moving the ball down the field with ease on its first possession, the offense stalled inside the 10 and had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Quinn Sharp.
Coaches and players gave themselves mixed reviews. But that second-quarter stretch showed that, no matter who's now calling the plays, the Cowboys can be the same dynamic offense they were in 2010.
“The concern would be if we (turned the ball over) and we had like 200 yards of offense,” Monken said. “That would be a real pain in the rear end, but we didn't have that. We moved (the ball).”