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OSU football: Mike Gundy should use J.W. Walsh on short-yardage situations

It's time for OSU to add an auxiliary offense like the Belldozer or Wildcat. Mike Gundy should give his Cowboys a curveball to go with the hard heat of the Air Raid offense and to keep the talented J.W. Walsh involved.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 4, 2012

— Football is a copycat game.

One minute, Emory Bellard's inventing the wishbone at Texas, the next minute half of college football has gone to the ‘bone.

Hal Mumme and Mike Leach turn football into Dodgeball at places like Iowa Wesleyan and Valdosta State, and before you know it their offense has spread to both sides of Bedlam.

There's no shame in swiping ideas. The gridiron is a public market. Take whatever intellectual property you can find.

So it's time for OSU to borrow from other brain trusts. Time for OSU to add an auxiliary offense.

The Cowboys are committed to going with true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, and that's fine. But use J.W. Walsh at quarterback on short-yardage situations and let opposing defenses wonder what's coming next.

Base it off the principles of Arkansas' Wildcat, Kansas State's 21st-century Single Wing, OU's Belldozer, doesn't matter.

Mike Gundy should give his Cowboys a curveball to go with the hard heat of the Air Raid.

“I think that's something they're looking at,” Gundy admitted about his offensive staff. “Comes down to how many reps can you put in with another guy coming in and running a few plays in a game?”

The answer is, other people do it. OSU can, too.

A secondary offense would help the Cowboys on a variety of fronts:

* Relieving pressure. Lunt is going to have enough on his plate as an 18-year-old Big 12 quarterback. Gundy and Todd Monken will try to find ways to alleviate that burden, and what better than goal-line relief?

Plus, defenses can't load up all week against the Lunt offense if it has to spend part of practice worrying about Walsh on the goal line.

* Morale. Using Walsh would keep a talented player involved mentally and physically.

Walsh so far has been the best of soldiers. Recruited during the Zac Robinson era, Walsh committed to OSU 18 days after Dana Holgorsen became offensive coordinator.

The Holgorsen offense exploded beyond anyone's wildest dreams, which really is why Lunt was named the starter.

A classic, dropback passer is the way the Cowboys want to go, and a run/pass threat like Walsh was caught in the right place at the wrong time.

“We want to run our offense,” Gundy said. “What we've done here the last two years here is what we believe in … whether it's these three guys (Lunt, Walsh and Clint Chelf) or whoever would be here six or eight years from now.

“If we have a player that gives us an advantage with a wrinkle or two that may allow him to run the ball some, I would guess our offensive staff would want to implement those plays. But we don't want to go back to running the plays we were running when Zac was here. We don't want to run our quarterback and let him take hits. We have our system in place.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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