Going back to Clint Chelf at quarterback was a gutsy decision by Cowboy coaches

Mike Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich should be commended. They had to set aside their egos, after all, and when it comes to college football coaches, that's no small thing.
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 2, 2013

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy isn't interested in pulling back the curtain on the specifics of Oklahoma State's quarterback switch earlier this season.

Neither is Mike Yurcich.

Fair enough.

But during a week in which the Cowboys are expected to savor some sweet spoils, the decision to pull the trigger on the Clint-Chelf-for-J.W.-Walsh switch needs to be celebrated. OSU wouldn't be widely favored to beat its Bedlam rival if not for the change. It wouldn't be in line to win the Big 12 for the second time in three years without the move.

Gundy, Yurcich and Co. should be commended.

They had to set aside their egos, after all, and when it comes to college football coaches, that's no small thing.

Walsh, remember, was their guy. Yes, Chelf started the opener against Mississippi State, but it was clear by the way he was yanked after only a couple series that Gundy and Yurcich always intended for Walsh to be the starter.

Chelf getting the starting nod in the opener was like a lifetime achievement award.

Thanks for all you've done as a Cowboy, now go stand over there.

And for awhile, Walsh made the coaches look brilliant. Two touchdowns against Mississippi State. Four touchdown passes against Texas-San Antonio.

Then came the clunker at West Virginia, followed by a mostly off day against Kansas State.

Gundy talked Monday at his weekly press conference about how quarterbacks always take heat when an offense struggles but how in the Cowboys' case, they had all sorts of issues back then. An offensive line that was being shuffled. A running game that was anemic. A rookie offensive coordinator who was still getting his bearings.

All of those were problems.

But quarterback play was, too.

With the exception of the UTSA game, Walsh was wildly inconsistent throwing the ball. Great one minute. Horrid the next.

This offense's biggest strength is its wide receivers. It is a bunch with great talent and phenomenal depth, but with Walsh, the receivers weren't consistently getting the ball. Guys like Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore and Jhajuan Seales and Marcell Ateman just had to get the ball in their hands for the Cowboys to be at their best.

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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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