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Brandon Weeden throws for 397 yards, 2 TDs as No. 9 Oklahoma State beats Arizona 37-14
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) ' Mike Gundy loves the way No. 9 Oklahoma State can put up points in bunches.
He's not so thrilled when the Cowboys find ways to silence themselves.
Brandon Weeden threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns to Justin Blackmon, Joseph Randle amassed 220 all-purpose yards and scored twice, and the Cowboys beat Arizona 37-14 Thursday night in a rematch of last year's Alamo Bowl.
But afterward, Gundy was looking for his team to live up to even higher expectations. He was unhappy with penalties that led to a lull on offense that let Arizona (1-1) briefly get back in the game, and with flaws in a kicking game that's usually a strength for the Cowboys.
"We have work ahead of us and we've got to become a better fundamental football team, and that's the responsibility of myself and our coaching staff," said Gundy, Oklahoma State's seventh-year head coach.
Weeden completed 22 of his first 23 passes and the Cowboys (2-0) scored on their first three drives to open a 21-0 lead in the first 16 minutes, then needed a fake punt to revive the offense and put the game away midway through the second half.
"One concern I have with this team is they're so experienced on offense and they're so confident in themselves that at times I don't want them to think they can just go out there and it's going to happen," Gundy said, highlighting his team's 10 penalties for 90 yards.
"Obviously we didn't do that (Thursday night), but we did get into a little bit of a lull when we got up by 21 ... and that's where we have to overcome that. They just are so confident in themselves that I think they just kind of relax, and we can't do that."
Randle had 121 yards rushing and nine catches for 99 yards, and Blackmon had 128 yards on 12 receptions to extend his NCAA record streak to 14 straight games with at least 100 yards receiving.
Weeden finished with one less yard passing than Arizona's Nick Foles in a duel between the nation's top two passers from the first week of the season. Foles had a Bowl Subdivision-best 412 yards passing and a career-best five touchdown passes in his opener against Northern Arizona. Weeden had 388 in a blowout of Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
Weeden made amends for the three interceptions he threw in that game ' including two returned for touchdowns ' and for failing to throw a touchdown pass to Blackmon and keep his run of 12 straight games with 100 yards and a touchdown from ending.
Both TD passes to Blackmon came on fade patterns, from 3 yards and 8 yards out.
"The guy is too good not to get in the end zone every game," said Weeden, who set school records with 42 completions and 53 attempts. "He's just that special. If it's there you've got to take it and there were a couple that were just stealing. I could have closed my eyes and just threw it up there and he was going to catch it. He's a freak."
The Wildcats played without half of their top-notch passing tandem.
Juron Criner, who was the Pac-10's top receiver last season and tied the school record with 11 touchdown catches, was out after having an appendectomy on Monday. It's unclear whether he'll be able to return in time for Arizona's home games the next two weeks against No. 6 Stanford and No. 12 Oregon.
But even with Criner out, Foles flung it around without many issues. Texas transfer Dan Buckner had 10 catches for 142 yards, including a 54-yarder for a touchdown, and Austin Hill had 128 yards on eight receptions.
The Wildcats couldn't avenge a 36-10 loss in the Alamo Bowl without a running game, though. Keola Antonin had just 22 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run during a stretch when Arizona made five straight defensive stops to give itself a chance.
"You have to be able to run the ball," Foles said. "We have running backs capable, we have the ability to run it and we'll figure it out. When we start to run the ball the passing game will open up even more. I feel confident in our passing game but we have to start running it better."
Oklahoma State flipped the field when punter Quinn Sharp took off for a 23-yard gain on a fake, and the Wildcats then got in their own way with a series of penalties that backed them up to their own 1-yard line before punting it back.
Weeden capitalized on the short field by feeding Blackmon on four straight plays, the last one a 3-yard fade pattern to the right side of the end zone. Randle highlighted the Cowboys' next drive by coming out of the backfield to catch a 63-yard flip over the middle and set up Jeremy Smith's 6-yard TD run that made it 34-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Buckner answered with his long TD on a stop-and-go down the right sideline against Devin Hedgepeth, but it was too little, too late for Arizona.
"I think they're a much better team, a more complete team, this year than they were a year ago," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. "We knew we were really going to have to play well tonight.
"Our inability to run the football, offensively, just leads to kind of a 7-on-7 game, and until we move the ball more effectively, we can't be a complete football team."