Stillwater, OK – Brandon Weeden had a few missteps, but 34 rout of Louisiana.
Weeden threw for a school-record 4,277 yards and 34 touchdowns last year, leading the Cowboys to the first 11-win season in school history. They averaged 44.2 points per game and finished 11-2 with a win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.
Saturday, the senior completed 24-of-39 passes. He also had three interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- but Oklahoma State (1-0) still had little trouble out-gunning the Cajuns (0-1).
Joseph Randle had 129 yards and two scores on the ground for the Cowboys, while Tracy Moore caught seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Star receiver Justin Blackmon had eight catches for 144 yards, helping Oklahoma State post 666 yards of offense.
Blaine Gautier completed 13-of-26 passes for 106 yards and was intercepted once for Louisiana, which went 3-9 in 2010.
"We just kind of started a little slow, but we picked it up throughout the whole game," Gautier said. "We never gave up. We gave so much effort in this game. I'm proud of my team."
The Cajuns suffered a 54-28 loss to Oklahoma State last season, and this year's matchup didn't go a whole lot differently.
The Cowboys got on the board when Quinn Sharp kicked a 27-yard field goal a little less than five minutes into the game. Oklahoma State was forced to punt on its next series, but then scored on four consecutive possessions to build a lead.
Randle's four-yard run with just over three minutes left in the opening quarter capped a 34-yard drive, which was set up by Devin Hedgepeth's interception of Gautier and a 26-yard return.
On their next touch, the Cowboys moved 72 yards in 13 plays, the last of which was Jeremy Smith's one-yard dash across the goal line. Weeden found Josh Cooper for a 15-yard TD strike on OSU's next drive, and Randle's four-yard run with 6:36 left in the half ended the scoring run.
The offensive success gave Oklahoma State a 31-3 lead -- Louisiana posted just a 23-yard field goal from Brett Baer during the same span.
Dwight Bentley's 38-yard interception return late in the half got some of the points back for the Cajuns, but the Cowboys rolled into the break with a 34-10 advantage after Sharp booted a 22-yarder as time expired.
Sharp and Baer traded field goals in the third quarter before Weeden led Oklahoma State to a quick score. His 56-yard pass to Justin Horton on the opening play of a drive brought the ball to the Louisiana four-yard line. Even after the Cowboys incurred a 15-yard clipping penalty, Weeden threw a pass to Moore for a touchdown.
As quickly as he posted those points, Weeden gave them away. On the first play of the Cowboys' next drive, Jemarlous Moten picked off his pass and returned it 50 yards for a score.
"I thought Weeden pressed a couple times," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. "I mentioned to him that he doesn't have to make every single play. The second interception he threw for a touchdown he was just pressing and he doesn't have to do that. But he'll figure that out."
But the Cajuns still trailed by a wide margin, 44-20, after the play, and for the most part, they couldn't stop Oklahoma State's potent offense.
The Cowboys needed six plays and about 90 seconds to reach the end zone on their following possession. Weeden capped it with a 15-yard pass to Michael Harrison on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Without an ability to stop the Cowboys, Louisiana couldn't make up much ground.
The Cajuns posted a one-yard touchdown run by Gautier and a three-yard scoring rush by Qyendarius Griffin in the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma State tacked on a 23-yarder from Sharp and a seven-yard pass from Clint Chelf to Isaiah Anderson.
Oklahoma State is 8-0 against Louisiana all-time...The Cajuns had 320 yards of offense...Oklahoma State had 31 first downs and held the ball for 29 minutes...Qyenda Griffin led the Cajuns with 37 rushing yards...OSU had five sacks.