AUSTIN, Texas — For one splendid series Saturday, Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon looked like their old selves, playing pitch-and-catch with the best of them.
Four connections, for 57 yards on 63-yard touchdown drive that gave Oklahoma State a second-quarter lead. Vintage Cowboys.
Otherwise, Texas corralled Blackmon and frustrated Weeden. Blackmon had just three other catches for 17 yards. Weeden threw for just 155 yards outside that drive, finishing with a career low 218.
And still, sixth-ranked OSU beat the Longhorns, 38-26 at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Yes, the Cowboys have some great ballplayers. But they've also got a bunch of really good ballplayers. We've been saying it and saying it, but Saturday the Cowboys proved it.
Backup tailback Jeremy Smith ran for two huge touchdowns. Josh Cooper made a sensational catch to set up OSU's first touchdown.
Cowboy linemen, rarely considered studs, won the trenches. Defensive tackle Nigel Nicholas and d-end Jamie Blatnick played the game of their lives, each with four tackles for loss.
Caleb Lavey, James Thomas, Daytawion Lowe and Cooper Bassett produced OSU's three takeaways. Wilson Youman got a late sack that helped seal the game.
Name me the all-star on that list.
“I'm very happy with the guys,” said Weeden, who sometimes talks like a coach. “It's a testament to where the program's headed.”
Immediately, the program is headed high up the BCS rankings, which will be released Sunday, presumably with OSU in at No. 4, just behind the monsters Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma.
To beat the Sooners in December and LSU or Bama in January, the Cowboys will need the Weeden/Blackmon combo clicking, plus all the help they received Saturday. But winning at Texas for the second straight year with some blanks in Pete's Pistol is no small deal.
In-state, where bloodthirst for Bevo is high and we saw up close how vulnerable are the Longhorns, a 12-point win is disappointing. But nationally, winning comfortably at 22nd-ranked Texas will carry weight. Even if it wasn't OSU's best shot.