Oklahoma State football: J.W. Walsh emphatically answers any doubts about his throwing ability

by Jenni Carlson Modified: September 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm •  Published: September 7, 2013

Styrofoam-boxed postgame meal in hand, Josh Stewart headed toward the team bus through the bowels of the Alamodome.

As the Oklahoma State receiver walked away from the food table, someone placed a wrapped set of plastic utensils on his container. He looked over to see who delivered his forgotten fork, spoon and knife.

It was J.W. Walsh.

“Another completion,” Stewart said, laughing.

Walsh didn't break his swift stride or turn around, but he threw his head back as he laughed, too.

On a day when everyone coming out of the Cowboy locker room felt good — OSU throttled UTSA 56-35 and played so fast that the Roadrunners' “Beep! Beep!”s were better suited for the Cowboys — no one felt better than Walsh. All the talk that he is only a running quarterback? All the consternation that he has no arm? All the panic that the Cowboy offense is abandoning the spread, chunking the air raid?

Not so fast.

“That's definitely not the case,” Cowboy offensive lineman Parker Graham said.

That was evident Saturday.

Walsh was splendid, throwing more touchdowns than incompletions. Roll that stat around your head a minute. It's hard to have those kind of numbers in a defenderless walkthrough, much less in an actual game.

He completed 24 of 27 attempts for 326 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That completion percentage — a whopping 88.9 percent — was the best that any Cowboy quarterback with at least 20 attempts has ever managed in a game. Better than Brandon Weeden. Better than Zac Robinson. Better than Josh Fields.

Granted, Walsh and the Cowboys were playing a program in only its third season of existence, but every season has its cupcake opponents. Still, no one has been ever been more accurate than Walsh was Saturday.

He started hot, hitting receivers on short routes and building a rhythm. He completed the first 10 passes that he threw, then after a couple of misses, completed 10 more in a row.

He wasn't just connecting with one or two guys either. He hit Stewart, Jhajuan Seales, Tracy Moore, Charlie Moore and Brandon Sheperd — and then the second quarter started.

Even though Walsh aired out a nifty play-action pass to Stewart for a big gainer, most of Walsh's passes were short and intermediate ones, so we still don't know just how much he can stretch the field. And yet, it was evident that his arm is much improved over last season.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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