OSU notebook: ‘Dinged' Justin Blackmon wanted to return

BY JOHN HELSLEY AND JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writers, jhelsley@opubco.com; jrohde@opubco.com Published: October 24, 2011
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That number may not be pretty, but it isn't all ugly, either, influenced in part by yards surrendered in garbage time.

“It always burns us up,” linebacker Joe Mitchell said of the critics. “We always talk about not being a weak defense. We want to establish our name. It is always good to have a powerful offense, but we want to make a name for ourselves as well.”

The Cowboys are creating a name as takeaway artists, producing 24 turnovers, the second-best total nationally.

“It is a momentum deal,” Mitchell said. “If we do not have a turnover by halftime the coaches will make adjustments. The coaches are always telling us to get turnovers because our offense is going to score if they get the ball back.”

WEEDEN NAMED O'BRIEN SEMIFINALIST

OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden is one of 16 finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback.

Weeden has thrown for 2,436 yards and 19 touchdowns in leading the Cowboys to a 7-0 start and the No. 3 spot in the BCS Standings. He averages 348 passing yards per game in an offense that ranks nationally at No. 2 in passing offense, No. 2 in scoring offense and No. 3 in total offense.

The senior from Edmond has already set single-game school records this season in passes completed, passes attempted, passing yards and highest completion percentage.

Semifinalists were selected by The O'Brien National Selection Committee, with the fan vote accounting for five percent of the total vote. The committee was asked to consider the following criteria: quarterback skills, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship.

Fans may now help determine which three quarterbacks will advance as finalists by voting as often as once daily at www.VoteOBrien.org. Fan voting will close at noon on Nov. 20.

Three finalists will be named on Nov. 21, with the award announced on ESPN Dec. 8.

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