Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden has a big task and a difficult environment ahead of him in Saturday's game against No. 8 Texas A&M. He took a few minutes to talk to ESPN.com earlier this week.
Selections of this interview were edited for length.
Also, check out the video above for a comparison of Weeden and Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill from analyst Trevor Matich.
David Ubben: What's going on in the locker room during a three-hour delay before a game like you guys had last week?
Brandon Weeden: Honestly, we just sat around. Guys took their pads off, took their cleats off and just sat around and relaxed. For every lightning strike, they had to push it back 30 minutes, and then you'd have warmups, so there's a long waiting game. Everybody just kind of kicked back. I went and sat with the offensive line and Clint Chelf and Justin Blackmon and we just sat there. The coaches' wives were nice enough to bring us some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
There's not much to do. There were no TVs in the locker room, so guys that had iPods or their cell phones with music on it or whatever would be listening to music, but after awhile, even that gets old. Three hours is a long time. It got to the point where guys were kinds of quiet at first but after the first hour or hour and a half, guys were laughing and cuttin' up a little bit. Finally, once we heard we were going to play, guys flipped the switch back on and got into game mode.
You've experienced some of this with your baseball background, but how do you manage the pent-up energy?
It's a challenge. As an athlete, you prepare mentally. You've already been out for warmups so you're already psyched up and ready to play. And then you have to sit back and relax. It's tough to get pumped up and then have to relax. It's an emotional deal. But that's just part of it. Both teams had to fight through it.
Your coach expressed some concerns about playing the game as late as you did. What was your take?
My question was, is there a rule that you couldn't start a game past a certain time? I had always heard it was midnight, so I was wondering if we did it, what would happen. It worked out. It was tough. You're stretched and ready, and then you're told you have to wait and then stretch real quick, so the risk of injury is up a little bit. It's tough on our fans and the whole organization. It's not an ideal situation, but it's something you can look back on in 10-15 years and you'll always remember that you did it.
We've seen your top target, Justin Blackmon, have his 12-game touchdown streak end in the opener. Now his 100-yard streak is over. How are defenses treating him this year compared to last year?
Basically, they're just double and tripling him and rolling guys to him. They know where he's at, but this last game really just shows you, I was glad it happened. It just shows you we have so many other weapons that can catch balls and make plays. We had five other guys with at least four catches and five other guys with at least 70 yards. We've got other weapons. If teams want to do that, well, pick your poison. Guys can have big time games on the ground. So yeah, you can take him away, but that's just one guy. We've got 10 other guys who can play. He's going to get his catches, his touches. He's going to score. It was just one of those deals on Saturday, where, if their main goal is to take him out of the game, fortunately for us, we were able to overcome it.
That really impressed me, hanging 59 on anybody with Blackmon having such a quiet night. Of the other weapons, who's really impressed you this year?
Josh Cooper. He is by far the guy that flies under the radar more than anybody. (Author's note: Not under my radar) If it's one-on-one, he's going to win. He's a great route runner, he makes plays and catches the ball and makes plays after the catch. I love throwing the football to Josh Cooper. Tracy Moore had a big time game, he's just a big body guy over the middle. The one guy that had one of the best games of the season was Hubert Anyiam. He caught that touchdown early an blocked his butt off on the perimeter. He did everything right.
What NFL receivers does Justin remind you of?
He's a big guy, and when you talk about his ball skills, it's guys like Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. They're two bigger guys that use their hands well. He doesn't use his body to catch the football, he always reaches out and snatches it out of the air, and those two guys are guys that are just known for that.
One comparison I really agree with is Terrell Owens. How would you compare those two guys?
Yeah, that's a good comparison. He's a big body guy, but he's not the fastest in terms of straight-line speed but the game speed, and you turn on game film, and Terrell Owens just runs by people. That's kind of how Blackmon is. He's got a different gear on Saturday. That's a great comparison.
The only way they don't compare is in the locker room and selfishness. Blackmon's a team guy and he didn't get a ton of catches the other night, but he never complained. He was very understanding that we've got other guys that can make plays.
Last year against Texas A&M, their defense really perplexed you guys early. What made it so tough and something you had to adjust to after the half?
It was so early, and we were still trying to find our identity as an offense. We were still trying to find all the pieces. I think the second half of that game kind of propelled us through the rest of the season. I was just watching film on them, especially from our game last year, and what they do is a pretty sophisticated scheme. They do some three-down stuff and pop guys from everywhere. They just try to put a lot of pressure on me and the offensive line. We're going to have a good game plan and keep our balance and do what we do.
What's the biggest thing this offense has to do to experience some success similar to what you had last year?
Not worrying about getting big chunk plays all the time. Just, consistently getting 6-8-10 yards. First downs. We'll stress that all week and that's important, because we're going to have opportunities Saturday and here on our to get chunk plays or the big ball or whatever it may be, but I think against a good defense like A&M, you have to just worry about moving forward and getting first downs and not worrying about throwing a 50-yard post all the time.
How much does the team talk about the kinds of stakes involved in a game like this?
I think guys realize it. Fortunately, we have a lot of guys back from last year and that game was on a big stage, that Thursday night game. Obviously, the first conference game. Guys just realize it. There's no reason to really talk about it. I think we've got smart enough guys on our team to realize how big this game is, and every one from here on out, they all are. They're all conference games, there's a lot riding on each game.
As big as this game is, guys don't really talk about it, even though they may think about.
You didn't play in the 2009 game at A&M, but you were there. What's it like playing a game as an opponent at Kyle Field?
I think it's fun. It's fun to go on the road and play in those kind of environments. It is one of the better environments in the Big 12 and their fans are loyal and understand the traditions and stuff like that that go along with being at A&M. I just remember it being a lot of people and I remember the nice stadium and a great environment that got loud at times. It was just fun. It was one of those things, it's one of your favorite places to play and the consensus around the league when you talk about the best places to play in the country, Kyle Field is always at the top of one of the more fun places to play.