STILLWATER — Brandon Weeden did not shy away from calling Oklahoma State's 30-29 comeback victory against then-No. 8 Texas A&M the biggest win of his career.
That's not exactly shocking news, given the stakes and the win's place in OSU history. But it's probably still a vast understatement.
The Cowboys' quarterback was magnificent on an afternoon where he set school records for completions (47), attempts (60) and passing yards (438) while orchestrating the Cowboys' furious third-quarter rally against a top-10 team in one of college football's most hostile road environments.
“He obviously played as good a game as he's ever played here (Saturday),” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “He's got a special gift to throw a football, and I haven't been around anybody that can do it like he can. I would say he could throw 100 of them in a game and it wouldn't bother him a bit.”
It was the type of performance that should officially put Weeden on the shortlist of legitimate Heisman Trophy contenders.
Weeden has proved he is one of college football's premier quarterbacks through the first four weeks of the season, leading the nation in passing yards per game (398) while ranking second in total offense (380.75 yards per game).
“That's what he does,” OSU running back Joseph Randle said. “We see it every day. We kind of take it for granted.”
But an outing like the one Weeden put together Saturday, on the biggest possible stage of the day, is what can make the rest of the country really take notice.
A national television audience watched as Weeden shredded the A&M defense for 230 yards in the third quarter alone and guided the Cowboys on a trio of touchdown drives — it would have been four if Justin Blackmon had not fumbled the ball out of the end zone on his way to a score — that gave OSU a 24-20 lead it would not relinquish.
Also watching were plenty of national media gurus who were on hand to witness the top-10 showdown, including ESPN.com's Pat Forde, Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples and CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.
Those are the folks that will play a big role in driving Weeden's Heisman campaign.
“Brandon Weeden established himself as a big-time Heisman candidate,” Dodd said in his postgame column.
And the accolades started rolling in after the game.