Three QBs play well in OSU's spring game
BY Bill Haisten World Sports Writer
Saturday, April 21, 2012
4/21/12 at 7:07 PM
STILLWATER – A lot transpired during Oklahoma State’s spring-finale football game.
There were 123 plays. There were punts and kickoffs and tackles. There was a breakout performance by junior wide receiver Charlie Moore, who totaled nine catches for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
But at the end of the two-hour exercise, there was one overwhelmingly prevalent conversation topic – the three-man competition at quarterback.
For the record, there was a final score: 31-21, with the Gray team prevailing over the Orange. OSU announced the attendance as having been about 11,000, but the actual number looked to be closer to 15,000 or even 18,000.
This event was known for years as the Orange-White game, but Cowboys were clad on Saturday in orange and gray jerseys. As they played for both teams, and with each getting a fairly equal number of snaps with first-team personnel, only the quarterbacks wore white jerseys.
Far more compelling than the score or jersey colors were the QB statistics.
Fourth-year junior Clint Chelf was 18-of-31 passing for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh was 16-of-27 for 310 yards and two TDs.
First-year freshman Wes Lunt was 15-of-23 for 215 yards and two TDs.
On a combined total of 81 pass attempts, none of the quarterbacks was intercepted.
Senior wide receiver Tracy Moore had two touchdown catches.
In spite of an insistence that there was virtually no separation between the quarterbacks during 14 previous spring-practice sessions, and in spite of a mostly even performance on Saturday, coach Mike Gundy says he and offensive coordinator Todd Monken likely will identify a No. 1 QB next week.
“I thought each quarterback at times showed signs of being good enough to start next year, and I saw at times some deficiencies with each one of them,” Gundy said. “I have an opinion on what I think is best. . . . We’d like to name a quarterback this upcoming week, and that way we can move forward and know who our leader is in the summer. I think that’s best for the team.”
Following the game, the quarterback issue was addressed by the participants and their teammates.
“I really want to be the starter,” Chelf said. “I think I did a pretty good job this spring. Whatever happens, we’re all friends. J.W. had a great spring. Wes had a great spring. We’ll just have to see what happens.”
Gundy is scheduled to meet with Monken on Wednesday. The announcement of a decision may be immediate.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Walsh said. “I’m anxious and ready to hear it. Whatever decision they make, we’ll roll with it and just take each and every day to make the Cowboys better.”
As a first-year member of the program, Lunt is not made available for interviews.
“We did a good job as a defense, pushing each and every one of (the QBs) in practice,” junior linebacker Shaun Lewis said. “All three of them made good plays. … I think it’s a three-way tie, really. I think it will probably go to the older guy (Chelf).”
Said junior running back Joseph Randle: “We’ve got three guys who can all get it done. We’ll let the coaches do their job and make that happen. . . . The freshman (Lunt) really did surprise me with how he developed. As soon as he learned the offense, he was really doing things and being very productive for a guy his age at the quarterback position.”
The quarterback situation has overshadowed one extremely positive aspect of Spring 2012 – the development of a defense that should be Oklahoma State’s best since Gundy became the head coach in 2005.
On Saturday, Cowboy defenders combined for eight sacks and 12 pass break-ups. When compared to that of other Gundy-era OSU teams, the athleticism and depth at the linebacking positions is striking.
“I think we got two or three coverage sacks today because we did have great coverage in our secondary and (from) our linebackers,” defensive coordinator Bill Young said. “That’s always a heck of a bonus.”
Wide receiver Charlie Moore runs past defenders after catching a pass during OSU's spring football game Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World