Oklahoma State football: Wes Lunt returns, leads OSU past TCU
STILLWATER — Mike Gundy has concluded that perhaps Wes Lunt just needed to get hit a few times.
“Kind of like Rocky against Apollo Creed,” the Oklahoma State coach said.
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Taking those blows — and getting up — in a game setting for the first time since sustaining a left knee and ankle injury more than a month ago seemed to temper any initial uneasiness from the true freshman quarterback, as Lunt’s productivity gradually progressed in OSU’s 36-14 victory over TCU Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“He was tentative some early,” Gundy said. “And then when he got hit a few times, it was like ‘It’s not that bad.’
“When they found out they weren’t going to beat him to a pulp, he was stronger for it.”
Lunt, who started OSU’s first three games before going down against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 15, completed 18 of his 33 passes for 324 yards and a touchdown in his return to the field, while directing an offense that scored 36 unanswered points after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter.
“You’ve got to be a man and step up,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “There was one third down he just started floating. I thought there was pressure (coming from the defense). There wasn’t pressure. But he hasn’t played a lot.
“This is his first win, really, as a starter and finishing the game.”
The game started about as badly as possible for Lunt. His first pass bounced off of Josh Stewart’s hands, was intercepted by Elisha Olabode and returned for a touchdown. The Cowboys (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) went three-and-out on their next drive, with Lunt misfiring on two throws. OSU trailed 14-3 after the first quarter.
But then the chunk plays started to come.
A beautifully thrown ball to Stewart for 35 yards in the second quarter. Another strike to Stewart on the run that gained 38 yards. Passes of 14, 15 and 11 yards to Randle, Jackson and Jeremy Smith, respectively, on a 10-play third-quarter drive that ended with OSU’s first touchdown and gave the Cowboys a 16-14 lead they would not relinquish.
And finally, Lunt found Charlie Moore over the middle late in the third quarter for a 20-yard score, his first touchdown pass in Boone Pickens Stadium.