Fiesta Bowl Notebook: Blackmon & Weeden

The Oklahoma State Cowboys were up for some good eating Wednesday night as the team was treated to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse where it is all-you-can-eat on various cuts of meat. The word from offensive linemen Levy Adcock and Grant Garner was that the eating was good but nobody over did it.

Stanford defensive end Matthew Masifilo, a former high school offensive lineman, said that the Cardinal team enjoyed its night eating at Maggianos and said the Cowboys will like that too if they like Italian. Stanford goes to Fogo de Chao and Oklahoma State will dine on Italian at Maggianos in Scottsdale on Thursday night.

As for entertainment, some of the players on each team went to the Phoenix Suns loss to Philadelphia Wednesday night in checking out NBA basketball.

"It was fun," said Stanford strong safety Delano Howell. "I'm really more of a Lakers fan, but that was good to check out."

One Oklahoma State Cowboy had a different evening activity.

"I went to Bass Pro Shop last night and had a great time," said OSU offensive tackle Levy Adcock. "I didn't even know the basketball game was going on, but I had a much better time checking out stuff at Bass Pro."

Adcock, from Claremore, said his enthusiastic parents that have followed him to every game in his college career arrived two nights ago.

"If we played across the ocean they would get there," he said. "It is great to have your family at every game."

Quarterback Brandon Weeden packed his golf clubs and was able to get them out once.

"I played the other day, got nine holes in, actually 11, but the last two I played in the dark," said the Cowboys record-setting passer. "No more golf the rest of the way, but the courses here are great and I made the most of it. I played pretty well."

There is more free time ahead for the Cowboys with the Maggianos dinner tonight, a team dinner at the hotel (Scottsdale Plaza Resort) on Friday, and an 11 p.m. curfew on Saturday. But they will have the chance to go to the Fiesta Bowl New Year's Eve Block Party.

Thursday's practice, a normal Tuesday for the Cowboys, starts in 37 minutes as I write this.

NFL Match-up
Thursday's media news conferences featured the Stanford defense and the Oklahoma State offense.

The leaders of both those units have some NFL in their pedigree. The Cowboys' Todd Monken has been wide receivers coach and then briefly promoted to quarterbacks coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars before coming to Stillwater for a return engagement.

Stanford co-defensive coordinators Derek Mason and Jason Tarver both came directly from the NFL. Mason was coaching the defensive backs with the Minnesota Vikings and Tarver was coaching outside linebackers with the San Francisco 49ers.

Stanford runs a sophisticated defense with NFL-style coverages and fronts. The Stanford coaches say they see the work that Monken has put into the Oklahoma State offense, keeping the spread that was there but advancing it as well.

"They are excellent, the strength of this Oklahoma State team is that they know who they are," said Tarver. "The thing that Todd has done is kept the timing between Brandon and Justin (Blackmon) and the other receivers but know he has them reading coverage and knowing when it is zone then you sit down here (on the route) and versus man then you run the route here. You see them get better every week, they make subtle adjustments that make a difference. I didn't know Todd, but I knew of him."

Monken said, "Being an offensive coordinator, the fun part of it, and the downfall of it, is game planning somebody, the highs and lows of game planning somebody and trying to find a way to score points."

"Find a way to dissect their personality and find a way to put your players in a position to have success. You certainly see an NFL personality in those guys in terms of their approach to their blitzes, their approach to their three down and four down (fronts), their third-down coverages to their approach of trying not to give up big plays. They do a really good job," added Monken.

Oklahoma State is pretty versatile and Monken says Brandon Weeden is ready to read that wide variety of coverages. Weeden felt that OU, which runs a lot of defenses, was a good regular season game to finish and prepare for what Stanford does on defense.

Just What They Envisioned
You have to remember that is was almost a year ago that Weeden and Blackmon sat down in the Gallagher-Iba media room and told the Cowboy Nation they were coming back to OSU for one more year. They wanted to win the Big 12, go to a BCS bowl, and beat OU -- not necessarily in that order.

Both said this season has been what they envisioned.

"This is pretty much it, this is the reason we came back, to play in the BCS game and win the Big 12 Championship," Blackmon said. "We accomplised a lot this one year and that is why we did come back. When we made the decision, we made it and obviously, I have no regrets. I never thought about it after I made it."

"I think after that Oklahoma game me and Blakmon were talking a little bit on how satisfying that was," Weeden said. "More for him because he especially wanted to beat Oklahoma in winning that Big 12 Championship. It has all been special but that was a huge part of the puzzle.

"It has been a very fun year. A lot of hard work went into it, and I said that day we wanted to go to a BCS game and we accomplished it. You never know how it is going to turn out, but this was a great decision."

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