Tracy Moore said both OSU quarterbacks will play now. Josh Stewart talked like Clint Chelf would take over Saturday at Iowa State. And Mike Gundy said he might not decide until Thursday but wouldn’t divulge whether or not he’ll even tell the quarterbacks then what his plan is.
And so it goes with the OSU quarterback carousel, which is back in business after J.W. Walsh played almost all the first five games.
Chelf replaced Walsh in the second quarter Saturday against TCU and went the rest of the way in a 24-10 victory.
It seems likely that Chelf will take over, but Gundy’s offering no clues. He even said both quarterbacks are sharing the repetitions in practice, just as they have all season.
That doesn’t pass the smell test, of course. Why would you give a quarterback half the reps when you don’t plan to play him? That makes no sense.
“It’s been different every year,” Gundy said. “When I was coaching quarterbacks here and we had Josh (Fields) and we really didn’t have a backup, so Josh got 95 percent of the reps, and the other guy got a few and the third guy didn’t get any at all.
“The system we are in now that we’ve been in for a number of years – the quarterbacks get a lot of work. A lot of it is based on the tempo and the way we practice. There’s not as many running schemes like there were years ago.”
It’s possible that OSU will make quarterback decisions based on the defensive personnel. But it’s more likely that Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich have decided to give Chelf a shot, just as they clearly decided early in the MississippiState game to give Walsh a shot, after two fruitless possessions with Chelf to open the game.
“You just have to see how it goes,” Gundy said. “I don’t think we can predict how it will go from this point forward. We’re very open and honest with both of them and I think that benefits our team. We just have to move forward and we’re fortunate that they’re good people. They’re both good kids.”
Gundy said keeping the quarterback decision a secret doesn’t really harm IowaState.
“I’m not a defensive (side of the ball) guy, but I don’t believe there are any advantages in IowaState knowing who is going to play quarterback for us,” Gundy said. “Our philosophies don’t change. It’s fairly simple. Other than a few scrambles with J.W. (Walsh) that we don’t do with (Clint) Chelf, the concept is the same. It’s not like having a wildcat quarterback and then a pocket passer.”
Perhaps it’s true that OSU’s offense fundamentally is the same. But Gundy obviously believes it’s to OSU’s advantage to keep the Cyclones guessing.