Cowboys grow from Blackmon's absence

Brandon Weeden had to travel to Kansas State on Saturday without his top target, Justin Blackmon, but that didn't come as a surprise. Blackmon suspended for the game after being arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge and Weeden spent the rest of the week playing without him. On Saturday, it showed.

"We had some other guys make some plays," said coach Mike Gundy. "We’ve got some maturity in our organization and I’m proud of our other players for stepping up and finding a way to win the football game."

The Cowboys beat Kansas State 24-14, and Weeden passed for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His newest main target: Bo Bowling, who doubled his previous career high with eight catches for 92 yards. Isaiah Anderson also had an impressive performance with a 40-yard grab among his three catches for 64 yards. Each was one of six receivers to catch a pass.

"You look back yardage-wise and we were pretty effective, we just didn’t score as many points as we have in the past or sustain or drives like we have," Weeden said. "Overall, guys stepped up and played well, it was just we didn’t score as many points as we would have liked."

Kendall Hunter also paced the offense with 143 yards, never more necessary than on Saturday.

"I like the philosophy. I like our style of play," Gundy said. "I think our ability to run the ball has helped us considerably."

Said Weeden: "We can beat good teams without one person. It takes more than one guy to win at this level, and even though he’s a great player, football goes on and it just takes another 10 guys to pick up the slack and make plays, and that’s what we did."

"To go on the road against a good team and win in a tough atmosphere is a statement for our team."

Blackmon will be back on Saturday against Baylor, reassuming his spot as the Cowboys' most reliable and most dangerous option in the passing game as the nation's leader in receiving yards and touchdowns.

"He’s kind of the leader of the wide receivers, and not having him out there and in the locker room was the biggest thing. We all know what kind of player he is, and you want to have him out there, but we knew we could play and succeed without him, and we needed other guys to step up to do it. That’s what they did," Weeden said. "It wasn’t a huge adjustment, but I won’t lie, it’ll be nice having him back this week."