Oklahoma State Football: Game One Report Card

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Oklahoma State Football: Game One Report Card
Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

The Oklahoma State football team scored early and often Saturday night, dominating Washington State 65-17. The team received star performances from its skill positions along with solid play from the rest of the roster. Here is how they graded out:

 

Quarterback

In his first collegiate start, Brandon Weeden overcame early jitters to have an extremely efficient game. 

He completed 22 of his 30 passes for 218 yards and hit his new favorite target, Justin Blackmon, for all three of his touchdowns. More importantly, Weeden displayed great leadership on the field and proved he can be trusted with the ball in his hands. Grade: B+

 

Running Backs

For all the talk leading up to game time about the new passing attack, it immediately became evident that the No. 1 weapon on this offense is Kendall Hunter. 

He combined dynamic speed and tough running to post video game type numbers.  In just over one half of play, he rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns. Washington State defenders will be having nightmares about him for weeks.  Grade: A

 

Wide Receivers

The most important thing Cowboy fans can take from the season opener was the emergence of Justin Blackmon as a clear number one receiver. 

He dominated the Cougar secondary, snatching every jump ball on his way to a career night.

Weeden and Blackmon look like they have developed great chemistry, as they connected for three touchdowns. The rest of the receiving core played average, dropping a couple of catchable balls. Grade: B+

 

Offensive Line

The inexperienced offensive line, which many feel will be a weakness, had a great showing on Saturday night.

They opened gaping holes all night for the running game, leading to an impressive 6.6 yards per carry. In pass protection, they had a couple miscommunications that led to two sacks but consistently gave Weeden ample time to find open receivers. Grade: A-

 

Defensive Front Seven

Ugo Chinasa got the season off to a great start, recovering a James Montgomery fumble on the first play from scrimmage. 

It proved to be a sign of things to come, as the line limited the Cougar running game to just 2.7 yards per carry. 

Richetti Jones was relentless on the pass rush, recording a team leading two sacks. Justin Gent led the team with six tackles and Orie Lemon was all over the field in his return from a knee injury. Grade: A-

 

Defensive Backs

If the Cowboys should be concerned about anything from their blowout win, it would be some of the big plays their secondary gave up. 

Miscommunication and blown coverage by the defensive backfield led to a long touchdown throw. 

However, there was much to be excited about. Freshman Justin Gilbert played well in his first game at cornerback and Markelle Martin also made his presence felt, delivering devastating blows that will make future receivers think twice about crossing the middle. Grade: B-

 

Overall

This was an ideal start to the season for an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that some have been skeptical about. 

Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorsen has to be pleased with the production he got from his entire offense. Defensively, the Cowboys tackled well and pressured the quarterback. 

With the 48-point blowout of an inferior opponent, Mike Gundy’s team has passed their first test.  Grade: A.

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