Oklahoma State expects to name QB starter Wednesday
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
10/23/12 at 4:32 AM
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle was blindsided just like everybody else. He came to Boone Pickens Stadium on Sunday and was surprised to hear the news that the Cowboys had lost another quarterback.
"Aw, man," Randle recalled saying.
Then his next thought was this: "Who's going to play now?"
And that, of course, is the question the Cowboys will answer as they move forward.
Mike Gundy announced Sunday that redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh, who started the last three games, is out for the remainder of the season with an injury he sustained in a homecoming victory over Iowa State.
Somebody will have to take snaps when OSU plays a 2:30 p.m. Saturday home game against TCU. The options are the "other" injured quarterback and junior Clint Chelf, who was Brandon Weeden's understudy the previous two seasons.
First-year freshman Wes Lunt won a three-player race for the starting QB job during spring drills, but hasn't played since being injured in the Sept. 15 nonconference finale against Louisiana. Chelf has played in 11 games over the last two seasons, but has never started at the collegiate level.
What will be the determining factor in which player starts the next game? Offensive coordinator Todd Monken had a simple answer: "Whoever gives us the best chance to win," he said.
Gundy said the offensive staff will make a quarterback decision Wednesday night based on factors like attitude, practice productivity, how the QBs carry themselves, how teammates react to them and "who gives us the best chance to score points."
When it was pointed out to Gundy that he did not mention health, the coach said, "I think health is a factor with Lunt. He is not 100 percent, but I think he is healthy. If we had to go out here and play right now, he could play."
Monken said Lunt is coming off his first full week of work since returning to the practice field.
Lunt started the first three games because his skill set was deemed to be the best fit for what the Cowboys prefer to do offensively, which is fling the ball around like Weeden did in 2010 and 2011.
With Lunt sidelined, Monken said OSU "morphed" its offense into something more suited to an athletic (read: dual-threat) quarterback.
"So we have to decide are we going to continue that direction?" Monken said. "Or is Wes going to be ready to go throwing the football?"
Lunt, in his only full game as a starter, set a Big 12 and OSU freshman passing record with 436 yards in a Sept. 8 loss at Arizona.
"Wes, everybody is aware of what he brings to the table," Gundy said. "And Clint is a lot like J.W. He can run some and is a good play-action and pass guy."
Here's something to consider: Because of injuries, backup running back Jeremy Smith and two senior receivers (Isaiah Anderson, Tracy Moore) did not play against Iowa State. Which quarterback best meshes with what remains of the supporting cast?
"We have to assess our pieces and (decide), can we throw it to win with the receivers we have? Otherwise, how do we get good plays?" Monken said, adding that Walsh was able to make plays with his feet.
Regardless, Monken was optimistic that the Cowboys - who lead the nation in total offense despite their injury troubles - will be fine.
"This weekend, whether we move the ball or (not) won't be because of Wes Lunt or Clint Chelf," Monken said.
"Those guys are good enough to move the ball for us and score points. Whoever ends up starting for us, that won't be the reason we won't move the ball."
OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL: DEALING WITH INJURIES
2:30 p.m. Saturday
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Quarterback questions
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt hands off to running back Joseph Randle against Arizona in September. Lunt was injured against Louisiana on Sept. 15 and has yet to return to action. WILY LOW / Associated Press
Wes Lunt (left) and Clint Chelf: With J.W. Walsh out with an injury, the Cowboys must decide between the injured Lunt or junior Chelf to start at quarterback against TCU.