Pokes take care of business against Cajuns

Oklahoma State started off the season on a strong note Saturday night in Stillwater.

The Cowboys beat Louisiana-Lafayette 61-34 in front of 55,382 orange-clad fans, making it the fifth largest crowd in OSU football history.

OSU got on the board first with a 27-yard field goal by Quinn Sharp at the 10:48 mark in the first quarter.

The Cowboys' first touchdown of the 2011 season came on a 4-yard run by Joseph Randle, who had the best rushing game of his young career with 134 rushing yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.

After a 23-yard field goal by ULL's Brett Baer at the end of the first quarter, OSU came right back and punched in a 1-yard TD run by sophomore running back Jeremy Smith and a 15-yard TD reception by Josh Cooper just three minutes later to increase the Cowboy advantage to 24-3, and the rout was on from there.

The Cowboy defense had a strong day, limiting the Cajuns to 320 yards of total offense and kept the Cajun offense out of the end zone until the 8:14 mark of the fourth quarter. The only two touchdowns for Louisiana before that came courtesy of OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden, who threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and had three picks overall.

Weeden had 388 passing yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-39 passing.

The Cowboy offense totaled 666 yards in offensive coordinator Todd Monken's debut, which was the ninth best performance in school history, and converted on 10-of-10 trips to the red zone. The offense was given a major boost by junior receiver Tracy Moore, who turned in the best performance of his career with seven receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon's NCAA record streak of 12-straight games with a touchdown was snapped but the junior receiver still had eight catches for 144 yards.

OSU got significant contributions from several newcomers, namely Desmond Roland, who took the first carry of his career straight up the middle for 30 yards and followed it up with an 11-yard burst on the next play. Roland finished with 63 yards on eight carries. Freshman receiver Josh Stewart had two receptions for 24 yards and two punt returns for 17 yards in his first college game.

Senior safety Markelle Martin was named a captain for Saturday's game and responded with nine tackles and a forced fumble, he also nearly missed on two interceptions.

Kicker Quinn Sharp connected on all four of his field goal tries, making from 27, 22, 46 and 23 yards in his first action at kicker. He also punted twice for a 50-yard average and showed again that he is the best kickoff man in the country, booting seven out of 11 out of the back of the end zone.

The Cowboys have a quick turnaround and will host the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday night in Stillwater in a nationally televised contest on ESPN.


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