LAFAYETTE, La. -- Oklahoma State and quarterback Brandon Weeden had plenty of reasons to be concerned, with the Cowboys' nationally ranked offense committing consecutive turnovers and underdog Louisiana-Lafayette rallying for a halftime lead.
Weeden and the offense heated up, scoring three times in the first nine minutes of the second half and never looking back in a 54-28 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns on Friday night.
The 22nd-ranked Cowboys (5-0) came into the game ranked second nationally in scoring and third in passing offense and total offense. It was the Cajuns who scored 21 points in the second quarter to take a surprising 21-17 halftime lead.
"We were definitely in a hornets' nest," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "They [Louisiana-Lafayette] were full of energy and their crowd was into it. Everything was playing in their favor."
Weeden threw three of his five touchdown passes in the second half with two of them coming in the Cowboys' early second-half blitz in their road opener.
Weeden, who threw for six TDs three weeks ago in a 65-28 win over Tulsa, hit Michael Harrison for a 24-yard touchdown and Hubert Anyiam for a 22-yard score in the first nine minutes of what became a 24-point third quarter.
After that, Dan Bailey had three of his four field goals in the game's final 17 minutes -- including one of his two 52-yarders -- as Oklahoma State scored on seven of its final nine possessions.
"It was a tale of two halves," Ragin' Cajuns coach Rickey Bustle said. "We had way too many turnovers that gave up field position, and we gave up too many big plays defensively. You've got to play four quarters against a team as good as Oklahoma State."
Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Chris Masson led the Cajuns on a six-play, 61-yard drive. hitting James Butler for a 35-yard touchdown with 4:35 left in the second quarter. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, safety Lionel Stokes picked off a pass by Weeden at the OSU 39, and Masson capped a drive with a 7-yard pass to Aaron Spikes 22 seconds before halftime.
The halftime lead led to visions of a second straight home win over a Big 12 opponent, after the Cajuns upset Kansas State 17-15 in the 2009 home opener.
Those hopes were quickly dashed when Weeden led a seven-play, 68-yard drive following the second-half kickoff, one that was capped by Kendall Hunter's 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Cowboys the lead for good at 24-21.
Moments later, Chris Dinkins intercepted a pass by Masson and Weeden hit Harrison five plays later to make it a 10-point game. After forcing a punt, Weeden completed four straight passes in an 80-yard march capped by his 22-yard touchdown pass to Anyiam.
Weeden was 29 of 47 for 351 yards and the five scores, which tied a Cajun Field stadium record. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the national leader in scoring and receiving yardage per game, had 13 catches for 190 yards and first-half touchdowns of 11 and 37 yards. And, for good measure, Hunter rushed for 126 yards in helping the Cowboys finish with 492 yards of total offense.
More importantly, Oklahoma State's defense didn't allow a touchdown in the second half. The Ragin' Cajuns' only score was Daryl Surgent's 97-yard kickoff return after Weeden's second scoring pass of the half.
"That was a great job by the defense," Gundy said. "We were not very good in the first half. We didn't get enough pressure on the quarterback. The first five minutes in the second half were important, but then we had an interception and we scored again. We took control of the game at that point."
Masson, who finished 33 of 55 for a career-high 308 yards, completed only nine of 17 passes for 83 yards in the second half. He threw the interception in the second half and was sacked twice.