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Oklahoma State football: 3rd-string QB Clint Chelf leads Cowboys to 55-34 win over West Virginia

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Modified: November 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm •  Published: November 10, 2012

STILLWATER — Could Oklahoma State and Todd Monken have envisioned this back in August?

A career day for Cowboy receiver Josh Stewart against a struggling West Virginia defense? Perhaps.

But third-string quarterback Clint Chelf successfully directing the OSU offense in a meaningful game in mid-November? How about Chelf’s best ball of the night dropping into the hands of true freshman receiver Austin Hays?

Not exactly.

Yet in a battle of prolific offenses that Dana Holgorsen originally installed, the team the WVU head coach left — and the offense that’s currently more dinged up — ultimately put up more points than the team Holgorsen is currently running in a 55-34 shootout victory for the Cowboys Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

“There are times you’re human (and think), ‘We’ve lost this guy and that guy,’” Monken said. “And you’ve got to pull your pants up and say, ‘So what?’ We’ve got to figure it out. That’s what we’re supposed to do.

“They don’t just pay you when you’ve got (Brandon) Weeden and (Justin) Blackmon. They pay you to try to figure it out.” 

Chelf, who replaced an injured Wes Lunt in the second half of the Cowboys’ loss at Kansas State last week, became the third OSU quarterback to start this season — and the third to win a conference game. It’s a position that has been hit hard by injuries all season, though Lunt and backup J.W. Walsh — who coach Mike Gundy said was out for the season with a knee injury three weeks ago — also dressed and were medically cleared to play, according to Monken.

And Chelf put together his second consecutive solid performance, completing 22 of his 31 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns. He immediately established chemistry with Stewart, who had a career day with 13 catches for 172 yards and three total touchdowns (one rushing). He also hit Charlie Moore on a fade route for a touchdown, and Blake Jackson down the middle for a 48-yard score.

“Really, all you’ve got to do as a quarterback is just get the ball in those guys’ hands and let them work,” Chelf said.

Meanwhile, a Mountaineer offense that looked so mighty early in the season stalled down the stretch Saturday. The OSU defense put together four consecutive stops, which helped the Cowboys (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) outscore the Mountaineers 17-0 over the contest’s final 18 minutes.

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