OSU: Report Card

Did Brandon Weeden get a passing grade in his first start as a college quarterback? What grade did the new offensive line earn in its first time playing in front of nearly 50,000? Oh, and what about the new intro video that greeted the Cowboys? Check out the report card by GoPokes.com's Ryan Stewart for the answer to these and other questions.

Kendall Hunter: A+
Hunter showed he's back to full strength with a career-high 257-yard outing in just two and a half quarters of action. Hunter's previous career high was 210 against Houston on Sept. 6, 2008. Hunter's 208 yards in the first half was the first time a Cowboy back eclipsed the 200-yard mark in the first half since Barry Sanders had 217 yards in the first half against Kansas in 1988. Coach Mike Gundy said he thinks Hunter is stronger and faster now than he was before he suffered an ankle injury early last season and Hunter's performance spoke to the truth of that statement. Hunter's four touchdowns was also a career high and came within one of tying the school record of five, which was accomplished by Barry Sanders on two occasions in 1988.

Brandon Weeden: B+
Weeden looked shaky early but he eventually found a rhythm in the second quarter, finishing with three touchdowns strikes to sophomore Justin Blackmon for the night. In his first start since the 2002 Oklahoma high school playoffs, Weeden looked progressively more comfortable in the pocket en route to a 22-of-30 passing night for 218 yards. Weeden was faced with a lot of pressure early but threw zero interceptions and took just one sack.

Intro video: A
Oklahoma State's intro video might not fully eradicate memories of last season's "Cowboys 4Ever" debacle but it sure appeared to be a step in the right direction. The video, set to Audioslave's "Cochise," had a rock feel and a "Friday Night Lights" look about it. Probably the most important part to OSU fans was that it felt football appropriate and the fans responded with thunderous applause for the effort. The Cowboys took the field to 50 Cent's "Ready for War" just like last season as it was a hit with students.

Homefield advantage: B
The fans that showed up were loud early and often throughout the Cowboys' romp. The turnout of 48,962 looked sparse in the renovated stadium but OSU marched on to its 15th-straight victory in home openers.

Markelle Martin: A
Martin spent the majority of Saturday night head hunting. The junior safety got fans into it routinely with teeth rattling hits on the Cougars. In fact, Martin was hitting so hard so often that he had to have his facemask replaced at halftime. Martin finished with just three tackles but that number was skewed by the fact that he consistently knocked the ball loose for incompletions.

Red zone offense: A+
The Cowboys went into the red zone five times against the Cougars and scored touchdowns on all five trips.

Justin Blackmon: A+
Blackmon eclipsed his career touchdown receptions mark against WSU. Blackmon scored receiving touchdowns covering one yard, 24 yards and 42 yards. The sophomore from Ardmore finished with eight receptions for 125 yards and also added a fourth touchdown when he took a blocked punt in from seven yards out late in the fourth quarter.

Offensive line: B+
With four new starters joining Lane Taylor, the inexperienced o-line paved the way for 291 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 6.6 yards per carry. However, the line was inconsistent in pass protection, allowing two sacks and numerous quarterback hurries.


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