The hopes of Oklahoma State fans for the Weeden2Blackmon combination to continue in the NFL–most likely with the Cleveland Browns–were squashed when the Browns traded up to draft Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the No. 3 overall pick.
But allow the OSU athletic department to help you take one final look back at the dynamic duo. Here’s all 39 touchdown passes that went from Brandon Weeden’s arm to Justin Blackmon’s hands.
Kudos to whoever edited all of this together, because it’s a great way to chronicle how Weeden and Blackmon grew individually and as a tandem–and how the OSU offense was slightly different under Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken.
There’s a noticeable difference between the amount of deep touchdown connections–where Weeden just let it rip and Blackmon out-jumped, out-ran, out-grabbed or outsmarted the defender for the ball–from 2010 to 2011. As in there’s way fewer. That shows that Weeden had a deeper group of playmakers in 2011–he didn’t need to just throw it up to JB–and also that Weeden continued to improve his decision-making. Monken has also mentioned that he deliberately took some of the deeper, play-action passes out of OSU’s spread offense in favor of an even more tempo-oriented scheme.
That fade into the right corner of the end zone sure was something, wasn’t it? “Stealin’,” as Weeden liked to say. By my count, that accounted for six of the TD connections in 2011. But that obviously wasn’t the only route Blackmon could run near the end zone. That really shows in the 2011 clips.
The second touchdown of the Fiesta Bowl, where he sheds a tackle after the catch and sprints to the end zone, is probably my favorite from 2011. But I had forgotten about the play against Texas Tech, where he beat the corner on a quick slant and put on a wicked move on to slip a safety’s attempted tackle near the ankles and go to the house. Also, the stiff arm on the first score against K-State was nasty.