Thursday, September 8, 2011
Halftime analysis: OSU 21, Arizona 0
By David Ubben
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Time to offer a little analysis of what we just saw.
If your usual stop is the Pac-12 blog, look away. It's about to get ugly.
Turning point: Brandon Weeden stepping onto the field. The Cowboys' 27-year-old passer (older than another QB in action tonight, the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers) is on fire and Arizona can't slow him down. He's completed 28-of-32 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown and shows no signs of slowing against a weak Arizona defense.
Turning point II: Daytawion Lowe broke up a fourth-down pass from inside the 5-yard line in the second quarter to preserve the shutout. The Wildcats marched into Oklahoma State territory on their next drive, but fumbled on a reception. Arizona might have felt a lot better with a 21-7 halftime deficit. Instead, it remained three touchdowns.
Stat of the half: Weeden and his Pac-12 counterpart, Nick Foles, have combined to complete 46-of-55 passes. The QBs have been as advertised, but Foles is playing without top target Juron Criner, who is out after undergoing an appendectomy on Monday.
Best player in the half: Weeden. By far. Justin Blackmon has been good. Joseph Randle has, too. But Weeden's effort is driving this offense.
What Oklahoma State needs to do: It's tested downfield a bit with varied success. Weeden's only two incompletions were deep passes over the top of the defense trying to work the seam between the safeties. He overthrew Tracy Moore and Blackmon dropped one. The Cowboys may want to reel it in a bit and keep feeding Randle and Jeremy Smith, who have both been effective. They've combined for 85 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.