November 18, 2011
Halftime thoughts from ISU game:
1. Oklahoma State is always better - particularly on the road - when the offense starts in sync. It was as far from that as imaginable in the first quarter. 12 plays for 80 yards. Who would have guessed that? That's representative of a three-minute drive for OSU more than once in 2011.
2. The Cyclones came out with a pass-first offensive gameplan. It's had mixed results. Caught the Cowboys off-guard, but Jared Barnett is not a passing QB.
3. The emotional toll of the day's news at OSU? Hard to gauge. The defense has played fairly well, while the offense looked flat and disoriented for much of the first half. Have to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. All day with little to do but ponder the pain being felt back home? That could go a lot of different directions, but being flat was certainly a possibility.
4. Brandon Weeden has been hit very little through 10 games, and did not look comfortable standing tall in the pocket as ISU defenders approached early in the game. In fact, his interception was directly due to trying to duck a hit. Perhaps there is long-term benefit for OSU there, as Oklahoma and a bowl opponent are sure to try to bring pressure on the senior QB all day long.
5. Improbable hero? Senior wide receiver Colton Chelf's circus grab on the sideline in OSU's first offensive drive of the second quarter saved a three-and-out, and led to a Quinn Sharp field goal for a 10-0 lead. It may have been the spark to pull the OSU O out of its obvious funk. The "Evil Elf" - as former OC Dana Holgerson called him - certainly turned in the highlight play of his career.
6. As bad as everything went for Oklahoma State in the first half, it wasn't nearly as bad as their first half at Texas A&M. Coordinators Todd Monken and Bill Young have proven extremely adept at halftime adjustments, and senior leaders like Weeden and Markelle Martin have gotten them done on the field. OSU's offensive production shot up in the second quarter, but still clearly lags what they're capable of.
7. The pitch-and-catch from Weeden2Blackmon to go up 17-7? Sick, sick, sick. Great throw, unbelievable adjustment by Justin Blackmon.
8. Given the day's news, OSU's second-half goal? Walk off of Jack Trice Stadium's field with one more point than the Cyclones. There are no style points in that, and it probably hurts Weeden's Heisman chances. It won't knock the Pokes out of the No. 2 spot in the BCS, and that's really all that matters. It also certainly is better for a grieving community than the alternative.
9. Weeden had arguably his ugliest half of the season, by appearances. By the numbers? 23-for-30 (76.7%) for 267 yards, one touchdown, one interception.