Oklahoma State football: Quarterback resiliency reminiscent of Cincinnati
OSU has three quarterbacks with Big 12 victories this season. Which is completely remarkable.
Wes Lunt is 3-2 a starter, though one of the wins was Louisiana-Lafayette, a game in which he was injured early in the first quarter. Lunt beat Savannah State and TCU; he lost to Arizona and Kansas State. J.W. Walsh is 2-1 as a starter. He beat Kansas and Iowa State; Walsh lost to Texas. Clint Chelf is 1-0 as a starter, beating West Virginia.
“I don’t know who they’re going to start,” said Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, whose team plays in Stillwater on Saturday. “It really doesn’t make any difference. They run the same offense. One will scramble more than the other (Walsh). One likes to throw the deep ball better than the other (Lunt). I think one has a lot more confidence standing in the pocket (Chelf, apparently).
“So you’ve just got to prepare for all of them. It’s not being able to say we know who it’s going to be. If we want to scramble, slide to the left. He has a hard time throwing to his left. This is totally different. Number one, not knowing who is going to play, and knowing that probably you’re going to see more than one anyway, so we’ll prepare for all of them.”
Such sustained success even when going to a third-team quarterback is a total testament to not only the Cowboy offense, but the OSU program. There have been times when OSU has had to go this deep into quarterbacks, without nearly the success.
Such quarterback depth is not unprecedented in college football. As recently as 2008, Cincinnati made the Orange Bowl despite repeated quarterback changes.
Those Bearcats, coached by Brian Kelly, went 10-3 overall, losing to Virginia Tech 20-7 in the Orange Bowl after winning the Big East outright.
Dustin Grutza opened the season as the starting quarterback, beating Eastern Kentucky, then suffering an injury at OU. So Tony Pike took over and played well, delivering victories over Miami-Ohio and Akron. But he was injured in the latter game.
So Chazz Anderson took command. Anderson quarterbacked victories over Marshall and Rutgers.
Then Pike returned, and Cincy lost to Connecticut. But the Bearcats rallied to beat South Florida, West Virginia, Louisville, Pitt and Syracuse with Pike.
In a regular season-ending win over Hawaii, Pike started, but Grutza returned and threw a clutch touchdown pass.
Then Pike quarterbacked the Orange Bowl.
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