The final stats from Oklahoma State's 61-34 rout of Louisiana-Lafayette produced conflicting thoughts.
Beyond the obvious, that is.
“Glad to get the first win behind us,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.
In the numbers department, there were plenty of positives.
The OSU offense produced 666 yards and the 61 points, while the first-team defense was responsible for just six Lafayette points.
Then there were three interceptions thrown by Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
With any interception, there can be more than meets the eye. Such was the case Saturday night, when one pick was the result of a bad route, one came from a miscommunication between Weeden and receiver Josh Cooper and the third was a bad decision by Weeden.
“I watched the tape,” Weeden said, “it's never as bad as you think it is. I made some throws I was really excited about. Obviously the last decision was not smart and I knew that, but the first interception was a freak play – Josh Cooper and I were just not on the same page.
“The second one, unfortunately we had mixed up the signals, ran the wrong route and Louisiana's guy ended up making a play. The third one was on me. Sometimes those things are going to happen, and I have to eliminate my mistakes and take care of the football.”
COWBOYS KEEPING IT SIMPLE
With a quick turnaround between games before Arizona arrives for a Thursday night clash at Boone Pickens Stadium, the Cowboys are taking a straightforward approach.
Keep it simple.
“With our group, we really just want to get them focused on a simple game plan,” Gundy said. “We want them to play hard.”
OSU emerged healthy from the opener, following a preseason that emphasized not overworking players in practices and the heat. The Cowboys are also plenty familiar with the Wildcats, having played them in December and having studied them some over the summer.
“I would say that most coaches on a quick turnaround worry about the fatigue of their players and whether they are going to play with a lot of energy,” Gundy said. “I would hope that our preseason plan would allow us to do that. I hope the maturity of our team will come forth and we'll be to play a great game on Thursday night.”
ARIZONA BOASTS WR DEPTH
While Wildcats wideout Juron Criner grabs much of the attention, for good reason as a projected high NFL draft pick, there's more to the passing game that concerns OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young.
In Arizona's opening 41-10 win over Northern Arizona, quarterback Nick Foles threw touchdown passes to five receivers. Six players totaled at least four receptions, including Dan Buckner, a former Texas Longhorns standout.
“They've got a whole stable of people,” Young said. “They'll throw to the tight end. They'll throw to the running backs a lot.
“We've got our hands full.”
STOOPS RECALLS BOONE PICKENS STADIUM
Boone Pickens Stadium has undergone quite a face-lift since the last time Mike Stoops visited with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2002.
Still, he figures one thing hasn't changed.
“Their fans are unmerciful, and they're close to you,” Stoops said. “That's the one thing I do know.”
COWBOYS NOT THINKING PAC-16
OSU and Arizona are already scheduled to meet in 2012, in Tucson, as the return game in a home-and-home series.
The date, currently Sept. 8, might be subject to change. By next fall, it could be a conference game, if talk of OSU and others joining a Pac-16 moves from rumor to reality.
The Cowboys are aware of the talk, yet say they are not at all focused on it.
“All I know is what I've seen on TV,” Weeden said. “We'll be sitting there watching ESPN or something and listen to it. But it's not like, ‘Man, we want to go to the Pac-12.' Or, ‘Man, we wish the Big 12 would stay together.'
“It's out of our control.”