STILLWATER — Justin Blackmon did not want to sit out the second half of Oklahoma State's contest at Missouri last week because he got “dinged” in the head. He called the concussion tests he had to take before getting cleared to play against Baylor “annoying.”
He was ready to go Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“I was very eager just to get back on the field and get back in the groove of things,” Blackmon said. “Just get back to normal, I guess.”
But as we all know, “normal” for Blackmon really means spectacular.
Blackmon returned from the injury and put together his best performance of the season, hauling in 13 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in OSU's 59-24 rout of BU.
Think that head was OK?
Blackmon made his presence felt early on when he tallied four catches for 52 yards and drew a pass interference call in the end zone on OSU's first touchdown drive. On two other Cowboy possessions, he had at least three catches and 50 yards. And he scored twice on the all-too-familiar fade route that he and Brandon Weeden should look into patenting.
“Unbelievable,” OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden said of Blackmon's performance. “They tried to do everything they could to stop him. The guy's just so good. They were selling out to try to undercut him and do some certain things to take him away, but that dude is special.”
Much has been said about OSU's deep receiving corps this season, which has made the Cowboys' offense even more dangerous yet caused a slight dip in Blackmon's numbers.
But with Hubert Anyiam and Josh Cooper both unavailable because of injury, Blackmon needed to be the Biletnikoff winner more on Saturday than at any other point this season. Colton Chelf was the Cowboys' second-leading receiver with three catches, all of which came in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn't like an emergency button, like, ‘Oh, I need every ball now,'” Blackmon said. “We've got a lot of talented players out there. If my number is called, I just try to execute when it is.”
It did not matter that Blackmon was clearly the focal point of the BU defense.
On one play in the second quarter, Blackmon slipped two tackles on a 33-yard catch near the sideline that helped set up his first touchdown. Later in the game, he put a wicked double move on BU cornerback K.J. Morton for a 51-yard gain down the middle of the field — a play that would have been a touchdown had Weeden not underthrown the pass.
Blackmon consistently combined his speed, strength and ability to make plays after the catch for his most dominating effort since the Arizona game in Week 2, when he totaled 12 catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Blackmon had a little extra motivation for that contest, too, as UA players made comments before that game that Blackmon “disrespected” them in last year's Alamo Bowl and that they were approaching the game as a “street fight.”
To go with the talent that will almost surely make him a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft in April, Blackmon plays with a fire that's channeled in the right way.
With more than half the season complete, Blackmon likely won't quite have the numbers needed to win the Biletnikoff for a second consecutive season. He's tied for 14th in the nation in receiving yards per game (104.25), though he is tied for second with 10 touchdowns.
But that does not mean he's not the best wide receiver in college football.