STILLWATER — Wes Lunt could feel the heat.
How could he not?
It was 127 degrees on the field at kickoff, after all.
Of course, that wasn't the only heat on the Oklahoma State true freshman Saturday night. He was making his first career start. He was following a legend in Brandon Weeden. And he was doing it all less than four months after getting his high school diploma.
But if Young Weston felt the fire from any of that, he sure didn't show it.
On a night that OSU throttled Savannah State 84-0 and left you wondering if it should be illegal for major-college teams to schedule lower-level teams, Lunt was one cool customer.
He was perfect.
Lunt completed every pass that he threw. Eleven passes, he attempted. Eleven passes, he completed. It was the first time in OSU history that a quarterback had ever completed a hundred percent of his attempts when throwing at least 10 passes.
In the process, it became obvious that Lunt was the right guy for this job.
“He actually wasn't nervous at all,” Cowboy receiver Isaiah Anderson said. “He didn't seem to get rattled at all by the fans or coming out of the tunnel at all.”
Granted, Savannah State is not only an FCS team but also a bad FCS team. Everyone knew it going into the game, but it became painfully obviously early on. The Tigers' first play from scrimmage was a false start. Their players were clearly undersized. Their first drive went for minus-11 yards.
And the Savannah State defense wasn't any better.
The thing is, the way Lunt played would've been impressive regardless of the opponent. Heck, the Cowboys could've been running their plays against no one, and you would've come away impressed with Lunt.
He directed the offense like a veteran. The Cowboys were quick to the line and quick off the ball.
“I caught myself having to hurry myself to get lined up,” Anderson said.
Lunt was sharp throwing the ball, too. He had good pace. He had nice touch. And it didn't matter whether it was a swing pass or a dump off or a long ball.
“He did his job,” Cowboy running back Joe Randle said. “He did everything the coaches asked him to do.”
“Sometimes I forget he's a freshman.”
If Lunt keeps playing this way, everyone else will forget, too.
Lunt directed touchdown drives on all four of the possessions that he played, but here's the truth — he was probably too efficient for his own good. Had he and the Cowboys not be so darn effective on those four drives, Lunt likely would've had a chance to play more.
As it was, his day was done before the second quarter.
A television crew from Lunt's hometown of Rochester, Ill., made the nine-hour drive to document his first college start. They started the trek around 2 a.m. Saturday after a long night of covering high school football.
Lunt was on the field for a grand total of 4 minutes, 6 seconds of game time.
Cowboy offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he wasn't sure how to evaluate Lunt's performance. That's because of the caliber of opponent and because Lunt didn't have to make a bunch of tough throws.
Still, Monken said he worried most about the thing his quarterbacks could control, like lining everyone up correctly, calling the right play and getting the play off quickly. By those measures, Lunt looked solid, and for an 18-year-old in his first college start, that's a major step.
Remember, the kid was stepping into a situation Saturday that he's never experienced before. Yes, he has been practicing for months with the Cowboys. Yes, he played at Boone Pickens Stadium in the spring game. But really, none of that is the same as opening night of the season.
There are jitters and nerves for everyone.
“Wes came and told me, ‘It feels like a dream out there,'” Randle said. “I was like, ‘I know that feeling.'”
But if Lunt was feeling nervous, it never showed. Not in the locker room. Not on the field. Not even in the pregame meal.
“He ate a lot,” Monken said, sounding as proud of that as anything about Lunt's day.
The heat is soon to rise on Lunt. Next week's game at Arizona will be much tougher than anything he experienced against Savannah State. But if he handles it like he did Saturday, if he doesn't get burned, the youngster might just be in line for a nickname.
Cool Hand Lunt.