STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State’s coaches couldn’t have imagined a better start or finish to the Cowboys 37-14 win over Arizona on Thursday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The Cowboys probably want to forget the miscue-plagued middle of the game. The coaching staff will look to correct key penalties that stopped OSU drives in the second and third quarters.
“We need to clean up our offense,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We had three of four dumb penalties that stopped drives. I’m disappointed with our kicking game and offensive penalties.”
No. 9 Oklahoma State scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and took a 21-0 led into the half. Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden completed his first 13 passes and finished the first half with 28 completions on 32 attempts for 296 yards.
Weeden finished the game with 42 completions on 53 attempts with one interception and two touchdowns. He set school records for completions and attempts in a game.
Weeden and Justin Blackmon hooked up on a 3-yard fade route for Blackmon’s first touchdown of the season. The pair would hook up again on 8-yard fade route for a third-quarter touchdown.
Poke running back Joseph Randle picked up OSU’s other first-half touchdowns on runs of 1 and 4 yards.
Arizona simply didn’t have an answer for OSU’s offense for most of the first half. The Cowboys passed and ran at will.
OSU’s opening drive showcased Weeden’s arm and Randle’s legs. Weeden completed his first five passes, but Randle’s 41-yard run put OSU on Arizona’s 7. Randle scored two plays later.
Weeden and Blackmon combined for 29-yard pass and catch on OSU second possession as OSU drove 80 yards in 12 plays. The duo hooked up on the 3-yard pass to give the Pokes a 14-0 advantage.
OSU’s third possession straddled the first and second quarters. The Weeden-to-Blackmon connection provided a key 27-yard gain that put OSU on the Arizona 32. Weeden found Hubert Anyiam for an 11-yard pass that gave the Cowboys a first and goal at the 8. Randle rushed in from 4-yards out a play later to give OSU a 21-0 advantage.
Oklahoma State’s defense came up big late in the second quarter. Arizona drove from its 20 to OSU’s 5-yard line. The Pokes free safety Daytawion Lowe punched away Foles’ fourth-down pass to David Douglas to preserve the first-half shutout.
“Our defense played well,” Gundy said. “I’m proud of our defense, especially the fourth-down stop.”
Penalties and an interception stopped two OSU drives in the third quarter. OSU finally got untracked with 2.42 left in the period. Weeden found Blackmon on another fade route for their second touchdown hookup of the evening. The score was 27-7 at the end of the third.
Arizona scored a touchdown midway through the third quarter on a 10-play, 71-yard drive with Keola Antoin going over from the 1-yard line with 7:38 left in the third.
Arizona’s other score came in the fourth period on a 54-yard pass from Foles to wide receiver Dan Buckner.
OSU scored a touchdown and a field goal later in the fourth to make the final score 37-14.
Randle rushed for 124 yards on 15 carries and caught nine passes for 99 yards.
Gundy said he is pleased with Oklahoma State’s 2-0 start, but there is room for improvement.
“We have to improve in all areas. We are not a finished product by any means,” he said.