Stewart has 13 catches, 3 TDs in career day
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 11, 2012
11/11/12 at 7:13 AM
STILLWATER - Through an injury-filled season, Josh Stewart has remained a constant for Oklahoma State.
Catching passes from a third starting quarterback this year, Stewart had a career day Saturday against West Virginia: a career-high 13 receptions for 172 yards as well as three touchdowns.
"We're trying like hell to get him the ball," offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. "That's pretty obvious.
"What we're paid to do is get the ball in the hands of the guy that can make plays for you."
Stewart made plays from the start of the 55-34 victory. On the Cowboys' first drive, he took a reverse 46 yards for a touchdown, assisted by a block from quarterback Clint Chelf.
Four of Stewart's catches and two of his touchdowns came in the first quarter as OSU built a 21-7 lead. He scored again in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard grab.
"Everything worked out for me today," he said. "I think I did a good job of trying to make plays for the team, and the team did a good job of trying to get me those opportunities to make plays."
Before the season, Monken predicted Stewart would lead the team in receptions. Through nine games, he has 69 - 40 more than any other Cowboy and comprising more than 30 percent of the team total.
"He just bounces up off the turf," Monken said. "I would have thought that we would have broken down by now with as much as we try to utilize him. He's a tough son of a gun."
With multiple injuries at receiver, Stewart has become even more of an asset.
"We've just got so many receivers down and we have to have a receiver step up," he said. "When my name is called, I've just got to make a play.
"That's my motivation, and I'm going to try to keep it."
Stewart has been a favorite target for each of OSU's quarterbacks since Week 2, when he caught nine passes from Wes Lunt against Arizona.
When Lunt went down the next week, Stewart was reunited with his high school quarterback, J.W. Walsh, and the pair had instant chemistry.
After Walsh got hurt and Lunt returned for a week before again being sidelined, Chelf made his first career start Saturday, and Stewart's production only increased.
"As a receiver, you have to adapt to any quarterback you have or it's just not going to work out," Stewart said. "I think our coaches do a good job of teaching us of how to adapt to a quarterback, and we definitely did that."
Only a sophomore, Stewart is 19th on OSU's all-time receiving list with 1,129 yards. He is the 26th player in school history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards.
"He's starting to mature and really develop into a good football player," coach Mike Gundy said. "Josh likes to play the game.
"Guys that like to play football and are tough, durable and want the ball in crucial situations have a lot of success."
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
OSU's Josh Stewart makes a catch in front of West Virginia's Ishmael Banks. Stewart had a career-high 13 receptions for 172 yards as well as three touchdowns. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World