STILLWATER — After pulling ahead in the latter days of spring practice, Brandon Weeden might have appeared to be the winner of Oklahoma State’s backup quarterback derby.
But like head coach Mike Gundy did last August and throughout the 2008 season, he will wait to select a No. 2 quarterback behind senior Zac Robinson, despite his personal hope to pick a winner by the end of spring.
"For a while there, I thought Weeden was gonna step up and take that role, but I’m not sure he did,” Gundy said after Saturday’s Orange-White game which was won by the Orange 20-15 at Boone Pickens Stadium. "We’ll probably go through summer and let those guys compete.”
Junior Alex Cate quarterbacked the winning team, but he contributed more to the white squad’s scoring with a fourth-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Donald Booker.
Cate completed 10 of 19 passes for 87 yards. Robinson led the orange team’s first two scoring drives, and another touchdown came on a tailback pass from Keith Toston to Justin Horton.
Weeden, who is in his second spring with OSU after playing five years of professional baseball, completed 15 of 25 for 102 yards and a touchdown, hitting an open DeMarcus Conner for a 25-yard score.
"They played OK. I didn’t think either one of them threw the ball particularly well,” Gundy said. "I’ll have to watch the tape to see what situations they were put in.”
Co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer likes what he sees in the competition.
"I’m seeing both of them competing really hard against each other and wanting the job,” he said. "In some ways, it’s taking longer for (Weeden) to knock the dust off. When he left football, they weren’t zone blitzing and it was just high school. Now, it’s Big 12 action.”
Both quarterbacks spent a significant amount of time running from pressure from the defensive front. But Gundy warned fans not to read too much into the Cowboys’ strong pass rush Saturday night, which included seven sacks and constant pressure.
"In a spring game, the offense has a disadvantage,” the coach said. "When you play offensive linemen that haven’t played a lot, there’s gonna be some sacks.
"But our defensive line is better. We’ll be faster on the edge, and where we’ve been deficient the last two years is our two inside linemen. I think we’ll be better there.”
Weeden looked like the better of the two backups Saturday, showing off his strong arm as well as some unexpected mobility from the 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore. He hopes to build on his strong spring heading into the summer and fall camp.
"Overall, I thought I had a great spring,” Weeden said. "By the end, I felt like I knew the offense a lot better.
"I would’ve liked to play better (Saturday), but the sun will come up tomorrow and we’ll get it on in the summer.”