April 16, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. - In a fast-paced spring game that saw 870 yards of total offense piled up, the Oklahoma State White team held on to beat the Oklahoma State Orange team, 49-46 on Saturday in front of an estimated 16,000 fans at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The spring game capped a 2011 spring practice filled with promise for a Cowboy team that returns 19 starters from the record-setting 2010 team that went 11-2 and won the Alamo Bowl. Included on the list of returners is Biletnikoff Award-winner and unanimous All-American Justin Blackmon and first-team all-Big 12 quarterback Brandon Weeden, who were split onto different teams for the first time since making OSU history together last season.
Weeden and the Orange team jumped out to a 28-7 lead after linebacker Shaun Lewis recovered a fumble and took it back 51 yards for a score late in the first period, but it was all White in the second period, fueled by a pair of touchdowns from running back Jeremy Smith - one rushing and one receiving - a rushing touchdown from quarterback J.W. Walsh, and a one-yard Clint Chelf-to-Blackmon connection. Still, a 26-yard field goal from Cody Phillips with no time on the clock sent the Orange team into halftime with a 38-35 lead.
The format of the game changed to 12 minute quarters with running clocks in the second half, but the action didn't slow down. As he did twice during his freshman season of 2010, Justin Gilbert took the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown to put the White team on top, 42-38. An 80-yard interception return from safety Daytawion Lowe later in the quarter extended the White lead to 49-38 and essentially put the game out of reach. Quarterback Johnny Deaton connected with Charlie Moore for an 86-yard touchdown strike with 1:18 left in the game, but it was too late for the Orange squad.
Perhaps the best storyline of the game is the fact that running back Kye Staley returned from serious injury to lead all rushers in the game with 11 carries for 55 yards.
Weeden completed 20-of-37 passes for 240 yards with three touchdown passes to his credit and Deaton added 121 passing yards and the scoring strike to Moore in a losing effort for the Orange team.
A pair of dual-threat quarterbacks led the way for the victorious White team, with Chelf connecting on 20-of-31 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns plus six carries for 20 yards and a score. J.W. Walsh added 105 yards passing to go with his six carries for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Similar to the record-setting 2010 season, Blackmon and Josh Cooper led Saturday's winning team, with Blackmon making eight catches for 87 yards and a touchdown and Cooper adding five receptions for 119 yards. Both Tracy Moore (four catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns) and Charlie Moore (three catches for 110 yards and a score) eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the Orange team.
While the general flow of the game favored the offensive units of both teams, top defensive performers for the White team included Zack Craig (seven tackles, two interceptions and three pass break-ups) and Caleb Lavey (a game-high eight tackles). The Orange defense was paced by Johnny Thomas with five tackles, a fumble forced and an interception, Deion Imade with six tackles and a fumble recovery and Tyler Johnson with six tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception.