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Justin Blackmon comes through when OSU needs him most

by John Helsley Published: November 6, 2011

Justin Blackmon's string of successes and superlatives has spoiled us.

Partly because over the past two seasons he's been so good, consistently good, that we've become numb to his mind-boggling numbers.

Partly, too, because around here, he regularly gets compared to Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, another big-time pass catcher who has wowed on a weekly basis.

The nation's top two college wideouts, both Oklahoma-bred, may reside in the state. And played off each other, the Bedlam competitors have piled up All-American statistics worthy of front-runner consideration for the Biletnikoff Award, a race that might have swung Blackmon's way in a matter of hours Saturday.

In Norman, Broyles' great season and career prematurely came to an end when he suffered an ACL injury. A little later in Stillwater, Blackmon delivered a rousing reminder of just how special he is, providing some heavy lifting in Oklahoma State's 52-45 comeback win. He finished with 13 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns, the latter a 54-yard piece of rescue work that was followed by a key two-point conversion, lifting the Cowboys from a 38-37 deficit back in front.

The Cowboys don't win without Blackmon; they don't move to 9-0 and remain in premium position in the BCS Standings.

He's a force, whether wrecking defenses directly with his playmaking skills, or indirectly by drawing double teams or blocking downfield in the run game.

Broyles' sad exit from this season likely ends his Biletnikoff campaign, one that may have seen him in the lead before Saturday. Now his resume is destined to be incomplete due a gap spanning a quarter of the season.

Maybe Blackmon assumes the lead, as the primary playmaker for the nation's No. 2 team and for his reliability in big moments, confirmed again against K-State.

As spoiled followers in search of perfection, we tend to focus on Blackmon's occasional flaws – a drop here and there, his fumbled touchdown at Texas A&M, two more fumbles Saturday night, one on a botched punt return and another as he strained for extra yards near the goal line against the Wildcats.

Continue reading this story on the...

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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