Cowboy News and Notes

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said during OSU's media luncheon on Thursday that he feels comfortable giving senior quarterback Brandon Weeden freedom to call or adjust plays on the field this season.

"He has lots of freedom. It's his second year in the system and we never want to put ourselves in a position to run a bad play," Monken said. "If there's something he sees or there's something in the weekly game plan that we like to give him the option of checking in and out of stuff. That's on him. He has a lot of freedom."

Weeden said he likes having that ability and it will open up a lot of possibilities for the offense, especially because of the rapid-fire rate with which the Cowboy offense operates, but he said it will definitely be a challenge and people often underestimate how difficult an offensive coordinator's job is. Weeden said he is looking forward to the opportunity.

"Calling plays is hard. I tried to do it one time during the summer, and I had a hard time with it," Weeden said. "Thinking and knowing different situations is pretty hard. Coach Monken gives me freedom and I feel like I can put us in position to move the football.

Anyiam ready to contribute

OSU's wide receivers are already thought of to be an extremely deep group, headlined by Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon and Biletnikoff watch list slot receiver Josh Cooper. Toss in budding stars like sophomore Michael Harrison and freshman Josh Stewart with solid contributors like Tracy Moore and Colton Chelf and it's easy to forget that OSU's leading receiver from 2009 is still on the roster.

Senior wide out Hubert Anyiam led the OSU receiving corps in 2009 with 42 receptions for 515 yards and 3 touchdowns but injuries limited him to just 11 receptions for 135 yards in 2010.

But Anyiam appears poised for a strong comeback, according to coach Mike Gundy.

"Hubert's had the best preseason camp he's had since he's been here," Gundy said. "I'm somewhat hesitant to talk about a player that's competed so well over the past three weeks until he gets out and performs in games but he's convinced me that he's ready to go. His foot feels good. He's made catches in camp and he's competed. He's not missed anything and I expect him to play really well this year.

"I think he's matured a lot, not just physically but mentally. He's seen both sides of it, two years ago he had it then he lost it with the injury. Sometimes those guys realize it's a lot more fun out there playing and he's competed well, I'm proud of what he's accomplished this month."

Blatnick with interesting insight on defensive improvement

Senior defensive end Jamie Blatnick is an unquestioned leader on the Cowboy defense heading into 2011. When he was asked during Thursday's media luncheon what he liked most so far about the defense, his response shed light on one of the reasons everyone around the program is so high on the defense.

The most intriguing aspect is near the end of the quote where he points to it not being something the Cowboys are doing that has led to the biggest leap on defense, it's what they're not doing — making mistakes.

"I like the determination and I like the overall improvement," Blatnick said. "It's been one of those situations where even players and coaches were like, ‘who's going to play this spot? Who's going to show up?' And a lot of people have been showing up and a lot of people have been getting better week-by-week. People aren't making the same mistakes twice and that's a good thing.

"If people can learn what they're supposed to do and get it done right then the defense will take care of itself as a whole. If no one is trying to compensate because, sometimes last year, people were compensating because somebody didn't get something right and it really hurt us in the long run. It really didn't start hurting us until the end of the year when we played OU or even Nebraska. It could be just one guy two steps off where he's supposed to be and we give up a touchdown and (then you compensate next time) and that leads to another touchdown. It's just one of those things, as long as we can just stay assignment sound (like we have been in camp), we'll be just fine."

Cowboys break season ticket record... again

For the second time in three years, Oklahoma State has sold more season football tickets than ever before.

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, the ticket office confirmed a new record with sale of ticket No. 45,695, with the previous record of 45,694 set in 2009.

Of the total number of tickets sold thus far, 10,204 are student tickets, with more surely to be sold in the coming days as the Pokes approach their season opener at home on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Louisiana.

The other brand of football

While the Cowboy nation is buzzing about a top 10 ranking and the start of the college football season, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls are playing some outstanding football of their own. The Cowgirl soccer team, ranked No. 6 in the country, won its first road game of the young season on Sunday, blanking the Arkansas Razorbacks 4-0 in Fayetteville. The Cowgirls improved to 4-0 on the season with impressive wins in the books already against Arkansas, TCU and Oklahoma.

Coach Colin Carmichael is now just two wins shy of 100 for his career with a mark of 98-27-17.

The Cowgirls return to Stillwater for a Tuesday matchup with Oral Roberts at 7 p.m.


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