STILLWATER — Dana Holgorsen was asked Monday about the importance of finding a No. 2 receiver for Oklahoma State's offense to continue to excel.
"You don't have one do you?" he asked with a smile. "Could you find me one?"
The Pokes' offensive coordinator was joking but the concern is legit.
With standout receiver Justin Blackmon continuing to prove he is one of the nation's top receivers, the rest of OSU's receiving corps will get plenty of opportunities to make plays, and they'll need to seize those opportunities for the Cowboys' offense to remain explosive.
"It's huge," Holgorsen said. "Josh Cooper, Bo Bowling, Tracy Moore, those guys can play they just need to be more consistent. They just need to do things well all the time not just every now and then."
Through six games, the connection and trust developed between quarterback Brandon Weeden and Blackmon is very apparent. Weeden has looked Blackmon's way 73 times this season with the sophomore catching 53 of those passes. Even with defenses beginning to game plan for him, Blackmon has still caught 78.1 percent of the passes thrown his way.
"When things go bad, I tend to look to 81," Weeden said of throwing Blackmon's way. "He's so reliable."
With Nebraska bringing the nation's top pass defense into Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, OSU will need Cooper, Moore and the rest of the Cowboys' receivers to win their one-on-one battles with Huskers cornerbacks.
"Those other guys will start getting some chances," Weeden said. "Because teams are going to understand Blackmon is as good as he is."
Cooper has been Weeden's second-favorite target through six games, seeing 32 total targets and amassing 27 catches for 297 yards and one touchdown.
"It's very important (to have someone emerge)," Blackmon said. "We have a couple guys who can be that guy and all of them are having little spurts right now."
Consistency has been a problem.
Against Texas A&M, it was Bowling and Cooper who made key plays opposite Blackmon. Against Louisiana-Lafayette, it was Anyiam and Harrison who stepped up with one touchdown reception apiece. And against Texas Tech, it was Moore and Cooper taking advantage of openings in the Red Raider defense.
So while a clear, consistent No. 2 receiver has not emerged, the Pokes have seen someone step up and make plays opposite Blackmon thus far this season, they just need that trend to continue against Nebraska.
"It's important but not important at the same time," Blackmon said. "All of them can make plays when they get the ball."
Charting Brandon Weeden's targets
A target is a statistic which charts each time the quarterback throws the ball to a particular receiver. Comparing targets shows which receivers a quarterback throws to the most and how often they connect for a completion. Here's a look at Brandon Weeden's targets through six games:
Receiver, Targets, Receptions, Percentage completed
Justin Blackmon, 73, 57, 78.1
Josh Cooper, 32, 27, 84.4
Tracy Moore, 22, 13, 59.1
Kendall Hunter, 16, 14, 87.5
Bo Bowling, 16, 10, 62.5
Joseph Randle, 15, 14, 93.3
Colton Chelf, 14, 6, 42.9
Hubert Anyiam, 12, 8, 66.7
Michael Harrison, 8, 6, 75
Isaiah Anderson, 6, 4, 66.7
Justin Horton, 3, 1, 33.3
Wilson Youman, 1, 1, 100
Compiled by Brandon Chatmon