STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – Brandon Weeden has no reason to fear playing on the road.
Why would he? Since taking over as the starting quarterback for No. 6 Oklahoma State, Weeden is a perfect 7-0 in away games heading into this Saturday’s game at No. 22 Texas.
He’s responsible for overseeing the third-longest active road streak in the nation, behind only Virginia Tech’s 10 straight and Oregon’s eight in a row. And it’s the second-longest ever at Oklahoma State, bettered only by an 11-game run of perfection from 1943 to 1945.
“I really just enjoy going on the road and playing. I think it’s fun to go into other people’s places and use that negative energy or the vibes and use it positive in our way,” Weeden said Monday.
Weeden can add another impressive accomplishment to his resume Saturday with a win against the Longhorns (4-1, 1-1 Big 12). The Cowboys have only two wins in 16 visits to Austin, so — combined with last year’s win — he’d become the team’s first quarterback ever to win twice there.
He’s already led Oklahoma State to its first wins both at Texas and Texas Tech since 1944 — in the middle of the record-setting win streak — and snapped a six-game losing streak at Kansas State.
“We kind of expect to win every game. You’ve got to take that mindset when you go into a game or you’re in trouble,” Weeden said.
“I think (last year) was one of those deals; it was a great win for us. I think it was kind of a monkey off our back because everyone was talking about how long it had been.”
Historically, Oklahoma State has been nowhere near as good on the road as at home. Since 1901, the program is 131 games over .500 at home and 119 games under .500 on the road.
Over the 19 years that followed Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman Trophy season, the Cowboys were 28-70 in road games. In the past three-plus seasons, they’re 13-3.
“I think it started with guys two or three years ago getting the younger guys prepared and helping them stay focused, and just not letting the road, the crowd, anything else get in your head where you can’t have your mind on the game and what you’re supposed to do,” center Casey LaBrue said.
“That really is the key to playing on the road, just staying focused and not letting everything that goes around you get in your head,” he added.
Coach Mike Gundy said that starts with Weeden, a former minor-league baseball player who turns 28 on Friday. Before he ever played in a hostile college stadium, Weeden played at plenty of minor-league parks while dealing with the pressure of trying to make it to the big leagues as a second-round pick by the New York Yankees.
“In the last two years, he’s played with an NFL running back, NFL wideouts, our good (offensive) line. And the biggest thing is probably just his personality,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “I don’t know if his pulse ever gets beyond just normal. He doesn’t seem to get rattled.”
That certainly was the case last month at then-No. 8 Texas A&M, when Oklahoma State fell behind by 17 points at halftime and needed to rally for a 30-29 victory.
Weeden set school records with 47 completions and 60 attempts in that game, throwing for 438 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the comeback. He got everyone involved, completing at least 10 passes to three different receivers — Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper and Hubert Anyiam.
“When you’re out there on the field and you’re playing, you’re so wrapped up in what you’re doing and not making mistakes and getting everybody lined up, so you don’t really feel the difference playing at home or away,” Weeden said.
“I enjoy playing on the road so much that I don’t really let the surroundings and stuff bother me,” he added.
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