This time, Weeden doesn't give himself reason to lose temper

by | College Football Insider

At nearly age 28, Brandon Weeden prides himself on being the calm in Oklahoma State's storm. (Getty Images)  
At nearly age 28, Brandon Weeden prides himself on being the calm in Oklahoma State's storm. (Getty Images)  

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Last week, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden passed for 388 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions as the Cowboys rolled up 666 yards of offense in a 61-34 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette.

It was a cake walk, a laugher for the No. 9-ranked Cowboys. Instead of having fun, though, Weeden was miserable. It was a historic game for Weeden. For all the wrong reasons.

"The first time in all my years playing football, I think I got mad for the first time last week," Weeden said. "I was really pissed. I felt bad.

"I wish I could apologize to everyone on the front row from the 30 to the 30. I said some things I'd like to take back."

Weeden blasted teammate wide receiver Tracy Moore for running the wrong route, but quickly apologized. After the game, Weeden then received some not so flattering feedback on Twitter from Oklahoma State fans, prompting Weeden to reply: "Obviously a couple stupid things on my part but a win is a win. First one is never perfect."

Weeden's second game nearly was perfect. On Thursday night against Arizona, Weeden completed his first 13 passes on his way to a 397-yard performance in the Cowboys' 37-14 victory.

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With speculation swirling that the Cowboys and Sooners might be headed to the Pac-12, Oklahoma State got a first-hand look at how it matches up with what might be one of its new conference rivals.

Weeden set school records for completions (42) and attempts (53).

"There's a lot of pressure on him," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who also played quarterback at OSU. "There's more pressure on these kids than we ever dealt with. They're all 'dot coms' everywhere, tremendous amount of pressure to produce and that's what he did the first week: he pressed."

Weeden said he couldn't wait for Thursday's nationally cablevised contest to arrive. So he could forget -- or try to forget -- his opening-game effort.

"It's been a long four days for me," Weeden said. "I was pissed off at myself. We won, but I felt like I let my offense down a lot.

"I'm too good of a player, there are too many guys around me that are too good. It's inexcusable."

Gundy saw a different quarterback against the Wildcats (1-1). Gundy said Weeden set his feet, made good decisions and of his 53 attempts, Weeden made only two or three wrong reads.

Weeden is a rarity in college football. For one, he's an old man -- at least in the college ranks. He will turn 28 on Oct. 14 -- he's even older than Packers QB Aaron Rodgers -- and he has been married for two years.

"Sure, I treat him different," Gundy said. "The old theory you have to treat them all the same, that's not true. He's getting ready to be 28 years old. The point is you treat him different than an 18-year-old freshman. They're all different, so you have to adjust. Part of being a good coach is adjusting to who you're coaching and handling the right way so that they produce."

And Weeden can produce. He was first-team all-Big 12 last season, setting eight school records, including yards passing in a season (4,277) and touchdown passes (34). He also holds another distinction: least emotional player, Gundy said.

"When he makes a mistake, nothing bothers him," Gundy said. "For a quarterback, that's very good. I don't want him to go the other way, you just see how calm he is. At first, you want him to show some emotion, but he doesn't."

Weeden said he has to be an example for his teammates.

"I know all the other guys are looking at me as leader of the team," Weeden said. "I can't throw my helmet. You start doing that and guys start bailing on you. I feel like I'm pretty even keeled. It's the right way to play this position."

Gundy also played the position. He was a four-year starter at OSU from 1986-89 and played with a couple of decent running backs named Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders, and threw to wide receiver Hart Lee Dykes.

"He understands how difficult it is to play that position," Weeden said. "It's the hardest position to play in sports for a reason. He's been there. He's been extremely successful.

"You never see him jump on me. That's the temperament we have. He'll tell me if he sees something and I try to apply it to the next series. We have a good relationship. Anything he has to offer, I'm going to soak it in."

Weeden attributes his emotions -- or lack of emotions -- to his experiences playing professional baseball. A pitcher, he was a second-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in 2002. He later was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals, spending five years in the minors and never got higher than advanced Class A.

"I think it all goes back to the beating I took in baseball," he said. "Struggling in baseball. You learn how to deal with the adversity.

"I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve. I use that to my advantage."

He's also hoping to use the Cowboys' lack of national attention to his advantage. Even though the Cowboys (2-0) are ranked No. 9, he said Oklahoma State is somewhat overlooked nationally.

"We fly under the radar," Weeden said, "which is fine. Look at all the national stuff we're not getting a lot of credit."

If Weeden continues to perform like Thursday night -- along with All-America wide receiver Justin Blackmon and underrated running back Joseph Randle -- the Cowboys should get plenty of national attention. Just don't expect Weeden to show a lot of emotion when they do.


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