Weeden, Cowboys eager to fix mistakes
Even after a victory, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden can't wait for a chance to redeem himself.
Making the second start of his college career, Weeden threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles in the Cowboys' 41-38 win against Troy on Saturday night. In his mind, those ugly stats overshadowed his two touchdown passes and the 341 yards passing that were the eighth-most in school history.
''I feel like I let the team down at times. I put us in some bad situations, and I feel bad about it,'' Weeden said Monday.
A former second-round pick by the New York Yankees, Weeden said the weeklong wait leading to this Saturday's game against Tulsa (1-1) reminds him of his days in minor league baseball.
''The thing about being a quarterback, it's almost like being a starting pitcher. I don't feel like I played that good on Saturday, but I have to wait seven days to play again,'' Weeden said. ''I wish we could play today.''
Weeden wasn't alone in making mistakes, though. The Cowboys (2-0) are also trying to remedy poor tackling on defense, kickoff coverage issues that led to a touchdown and a 53-yard return by Jerrel Jernigan, and working to eliminate some of the 12 penalties that cost them 139 yards and a touchdown.
The positive is that despite all those mistakes, Oklahoma State still found a way to win by forcing four Troy turnovers and producing just enough big plays on offense and special teams.
''We're satisfied that we were able to overcome the mistakes and win the game, but we're very disappointed that we made the mistakes and we have to eliminate them,'' defensive end Richetti Jones said.
The close call certainly changed the vibe for the team after a 65-17 blowout of Washington State in its opener. In that game, many starters were pulled after OSU built a sizable lead early in the second half.
Against Troy, even when the game seemed to be over, it wasn't.
Weeden's second fumble came on a botched snap as he was trying to take a knee and run out the clock. Troy recovered, and the Cowboys needed another stop that came when linebacker Justin Gent knocked the ball away from Trojans quarterback Corey Robinson on the next play.
''Everything that happened, we were prepared for,'' Jones said. ''The only thing that we've never seen before was the fumbling of the snap in victory (formation).''
Weeden refused to blame the fumble issues - he lost the ball three times, but the Cowboys recovered once - on a sprained right thumb that requires him to wear a splint. Center Grant Garner pointed the finger at himself for a poor snap.
Either way, the Cowboys limited the damage by yielding only six points off of Weeden's four turnovers.
''We'd certainly like to limit those but, as I mentioned in the summer, he's going to go through some growing pains. That's just the way it is,'' coach Mike Gundy said. ''He made some mistakes, and I think (offensive coordinator Dana) Holgorsen and the offense in general understand exactly where he's at and we're bringing him along.
''I thought his poise and composure Saturday night was very good. He handled things very well when he made a mistake. He didn't hang his head. He got back in there and he made the corrections and he made some big plays.''
While Weeden wasn't happy with his own performance, he said that from a team perspective, ''I think any time you can get a win you're happy.''
That didn't happen in the second week last season, when the Cowboys came off a big win against No. 13 Georgia and were upset at home by Houston. Now, they'll be trying to start a season 3-0 for the fourth time in Gundy's six years as head coach.
''I feel like we had a lot of mistakes and things that could've been corrected,'' receiver Tracy Moore said. ''I'm glad it happened now and we come out with a victory and get it corrected early instead of it happening later and we end up losing.''