STILLWATER — Brandon Weeden charged out of the halftime locker room, sprinting ahead of his Cowboys teammates.
Looking for his helmet.
Looking to lead.
OSU’s third-team quarterback, Weeden rescued the Cowboys from an embarrassing stumble on ESPN’s national stage, leading a 31-28 rally past Colorado on Thursday night.
With Zac Robinson missing and unavailable after the vicious hit that knocked him from the end of the Texas Tech win last Saturday, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy initially turned to junior Alex Cate.
When that moved failed, with Cate failing to complete any of his nine pass attempts in the first half, Weeden got the call.
"We said we just need a change,” said Cowboys co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. "Didn’t matter what it was, we just needed some energy and needed a boost.”
Weeden, the 26-year-old sophomore and former pro baseball pitcher looking for a second career when shoulder problems ended the first, delivered.
The Cowboys went to halftime down 14-10 to arguably the Big 12’s worst team. OSU had zero passing yards.
Told by quarterbacks coach Robert Matthews he was getting the second-half start, Weeden immediately went to work crafting the comeback.
"I was just in there trying to get the offensive line going,” he said. "I went and talked to each wide receiver individually. I said, ‘Hey, the offensive line’s playing great. You guys are going to have to win. You guys have to step up and play.’
"I just tried to keep everybody calm. We had a lot of football to play.”
Never mind that Weeden had barely played at OSU, this season getting only mop-up duty late against Grambling State.