Weeden Rallies Cowboys In Second Half

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State football team's nightmare became a dream come true for Brandon Weeden. With senior quarterback Zac Robinson sidelined the 26-year-old Weeden threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to rally 12th-ranked Oklahoma State for a 31-28 victory over Colorado on Thursday night, keeping alive the BCS hopes for the Cowboys.

Weeden had played in just one other game this season (back on Sept. 26 against Grambling State) and thrown just seven passes but he was the man who rallied the Cowboys from a 14-10 halftime deficit after Alex Cate struggled to lead the offense in the first half.

"I'm a little bit older … just kind of staying calm and letting the guys know that they can have confidence in me. I think they did. They trusted me to go out there and make plays," said Weeden, who completed 10-of-15 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning 28-yarder to Justin Blackmon with 8:11 left in the game.

Weeden spent the entire first half on the sidelines as Cate struggled and did not complete a pass. He was 0-for-9 with one interception in making his first career start. The Cowboy coaching staff switched to Weeden at halftime, and the former professional baseball player did the job.

"You've always got butterflies. I was excited," said Weeden when asked what he felt after learning he would be the Cowboys' quarterback in the second half. "It was fun to get out there and go play. You practice all the time, and you finally get a chance to go play in front of a packed house in Boone Pickens Stadium on Senior Night. It was kind of a dream come true."

He led the Cowboys on scoring drives of 82, 71 and 73 yards in the second half.

Weeden was 3-for-3 passing for 33 yards in directing a six-play, 82-yard drive midway through the third quarter after Colorado had taken a 21-10 lead. He had completed just one of his first four passes in two earlier drives but was perfect in hitting Josh Cooper (9 yards), Wilson Youman (10) and Cooper again (14) before running back Keith Toston scored on a 45-yard run to pull the Cowboys within 21-17.

OSU still trailed by four points early in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys took over on their own 29-yard line after the defense had stopped the Buffaloes on a fourth-and-three play. It took Weeden just four plays – with help from a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Colorado – to put the Cowboys ahead 24-21.

The touchdown came when Weeden read a Colorado blitz on a third-and-one play and threw to a wide open Toston, who raced 47 yards for the go ahead score.

But the Buffs retook the lead just 13 seconds later when Brian Lockridge returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.

With the game on the line, and any hopes of earning the school's first ever BCS bowl bid, Weeden was outstanding in directing a seven-play, 73-yard drive. He was 4-for-5 on the drive but his one incompletion was a dropped pass.

Weeden rolled to his right and threw a perfect 28-yard touchdown pass to Justin Blackmon in the back of the end zone for the game-winning score.

"People tell me all the time I'm too big, white and slow. It takes me five or six yards to get going but once I get going I'm all right," Weeden said. "I was giving Zac a hard time because I actually threw the ball a little bit better on the run (tonight)."

Weeden said he gave the receivers a pep talk at halftime after learning that he would be playing in the second half.

"I went and talked to each wide receiver individually, and said listen our offensive line is playing great, you guys are in man coverage out there so you have to step up and make some plays. I tried to keep everybody calm because we still had a lot of football to play, and a lot of game left," he said.

There were 22 seniors playing their final games at Boone Pickens Stadium. Toston ran for 172 yards and became the 13th player in OSU history to run for 1,000 yards in a season. Perrish Cox took Colorado's first punt 67 yards for a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in his first game at Boone Pickens Stadium.

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