The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
Does Gundy's injury report on Friday mean that he'll definitively say whether or not Lunt will play Saturday?
No. I would not be shocked if Lunt is listed as "questionable" on the report. Gundy is going to try to "play the game" all week and try to make Texas think there's a possibility he could play, even though it's unlikely.
After last night's debacle, should we be sending gift baskets to the Big XII referees to thank them for their quality work?
Haha. Nice. What a crazy moment that was last night, huh? I'll admit I didn't see it live (I was working on the "By the Numbers" blog...shameless plug)....but that was just nuts. It's unfair to blame the refs. They're unqualified and in over their heads. This is the NFL's fault.
David Ash has clearly improved from last year. How would you compare his talent and ability this year to what you've seen from Walsh and Lunt?
That's a really good question. You're right, Ash is definitely improved. He's been efficient (completing 75 percent of his passes) and is clearly making his reads better...hence the zero interceptions. I think Lunt is a superior thrower already, and Walsh is a superior runner. But Ash has something Lunt and Walsh do not: experience. I think that has helped Ash the most, and I'm sure he's more comfortable out there. Of those three, I think Lunt will ultimately be the best quarterback of the three. And we'll learn a lot about how much better Ash REALLY is during the Big 12 season.
Who should we be more worried about, Marquise Goodwin or Kenny Vaccaro?
I really like Vaccaro, the leader of that secondary that is really going to test Walsh's arm strength and decision-making. He's got 20 tackles, and INT, two pass break-ups, three QB hurries and a fumble recovery. That shows he's all over the field. Goodwin is a great all-around athlete, but I think Vaccaro will have a bigger impact on the outcome of this game.
Look, I have no problem with Gundy being vague about Lunt's injury to make it more difficult for Texas to prepare. But as the objective, competent journalist who follows this program daily (and is privy to candid, off the record comments) -- is there any chance at all Lunt plays? If I said there was a 1% chance, do you think that is too high, or too low?
The interesting thing about Gundy's comments yesterday is they weren't vague...he went the complete opposite direction of what I expected. I thought he'd stay mum about it...instead, he dropped quite a bit of info. I think there really is a lot of legit uncertainty about Lunt's status--and that Lunt is healing faster than anticipated--but it only makes sense for Gundy to toy with Texas and keep some sort of mystery. He didn't say anything untrue. If Lunt came out of the cast yesterday, I think there is a possibility he could be back out on the practice field by the end of the week. But by Thursday, practices are real light, and being available is different than being ready to play quarterback. All that said, I will say 1 percent is too low, but 10 percent is too high. The likelihood Lunt plays is somewhere in between.
My prediction for the Sept. 29 Texas-OSU game: Texas 31, OSU 35.
I think that's a fair prediction. I think this will be a close game...within a field goal or touchdown. I like Texas, but certainly think OSU can win at home.
About Packers-Seahawks: I thought a tie ball went to the offense. Personally, I think the vile towards the refs is unwarranted.
Based on the video I've seen, and the rule interpretations I've heard, Jennings (the DB) clearly had possession of the ball and brought it to his chest. Golden Tate then reached over and tried to get his hands on it. The "tie goes to the runner" only applies if both literally grab the ball at the exact same time. It was pretty clear Jennings got there first. But I agree the vile toward the refs isn't fair. It's the NFL's fault. Not the refs.
Does it seem like Mack Brown is being a little too complimentary to the Cowboys in his press conferences, given that OSU has been blown out once and beaten two schools with lesser talent? Is he usually like that in press conferences, or is he trying to kill us with kindness? Even the UT WR said they might need to score 80 to win... I feel like they're up to something.
I think Mack Brown is generally a nice person, but he's a GREAT politician. Always. Definitely some killing with kindness going on, but also, I think he respects a program that has beaten Texas in Austin the past two seasons. Talking up your opponent is way better PR than giving anyone bulletin board material.
How do you think the OSU rushing attack will fare against the Longhorns?
It's going to be critical, no matter who the quarterback is. My beat pal John Helsley will be writing about this later in the week. With the QB situation a bit up in the air, and with UT's nasty defensive front, this might be the game where the running backs are most important. Jeremy Smith was huge last season in Austin, with two long TD runs straight up the gut. Texas wants to run the ball, too, so I think whichever defense does a better job of stopping the run has the best chance to win this game.
Which areas/depths of the field does OSU try to exploit against Texas in the throwing game? How about run? Going at those ends or up the middle?
Touched a bit on this in the above answer. Walsh was clearly (clearly!) more successful throwing the ball down the middle to those inside receivers, specifically Josh Stewart and Blake Jackson. He has to get better at getting the ball to the outside receivers. Sounds like the ULL game plan may have been to take that away after Tracy Moore's big game at Arizona, but even when outside guys were open, Walsh was often inaccurate. I think it will be hard to bounce the run game to the outside with those ends. As I said, the run game was real successful up the middle last season.
Is this Blake Jackson's statement game? Who makes the statement if not?
Could be. I thought he played really well against ULL, with that 58-yard catch and rumble and the TD grab that followed possibly being the moment he "arrived." If he can hang onto the ball, he can be a great weapon because he's so much bigger than most inside receivers.
Is there any possible way JW Walsh wins the starting job? I personally think there is none, even if he has a great game.
We were just discussing this in our sports meeting (which I'm currently still in...multitasking!). I agree with you. I think this is Lunt's job, even if Walsh beats Texas, because the Cowboys are committed to running this Air Raid spread system. Walsh does not have the arm to consistently make all the throws he needs to. That doesn't mean Walsh can't be a good QB. He's just a different kind of QB, and ultimately not right for the system the Cowboys want to run long-term.
Where is Isaiah Anderson?
Isaiah Anderson did play against ULL, but was only in a few plays blocking. He did not have a catch. I'll be interested to see how much he's involved in the offense on Saturday.
I would like your prediction, am I going to Murphy's after the game because of joy or sadness?
I think Texas is going to win a close one. So sadness, I suppose. I think OSU can win, though.
Are we going to see a two quarterback set this year?
I don't believe so. I think when Lunt comes back, the coaches might still experiment with the Walsh "package," because I still don't think we've seen enough of it in game situations to really evaluate if it's worthwhile. If it isn't, then it'll be Lunt all the way.
Ok all. Thanks for all the questions today. Enjoy your week, and safe travels to Stillwater if you're coming up for the game this weekend. Keep it locked here and in The Oklahoman for all your OSU news leading up to the big game.