Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' backup QB J.W. Walsh downright fun in victory over ULL

OSU FOOTBALL — Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh filled in just fine for an injured Wes Lunt on Saturday. He did so well it wasn't hard to imagine he could do the same thing against Texas in two weeks.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 15, 2012

In a six-play span, five Walsh completions totaling 146 yards.

“I was pleased with the way J.W. stepped in,” Gundy said. “He had a good look in his eye. There wasn't any fear, in my opinion, and I'm pleased with that.”

And that's why Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will not sleep easy the next two weeks, even knowing Lunt likely will miss the Sept. 29 OSU-Texas game.

The Cowboys' Air Raid offense is hard to stop, but at least Diaz knew what was coming. Now, with Walsh, Diaz doesn't.

No reason why he should. “Hell, I don't know,” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken. “We have to flip. Our base system has to stay the same, but we have to tailor it to him.”

When Lunt went down, Monken said, Gundy got on the headset and asked, “What can we run with Walsh?”

Monken's response: “I don't know, he took about 10 (practice) snaps all week. I don't know what to tell you.”

But Monken pieced it together, relying more on the run game. Here's evidence: with Walsh, the Cowboys faced seven plays of 3rd-and-3 or 3rd-and-4. They threw on only one of those plays.

Walsh can run — 73 yards on six carries, mostly scrambles, against the Cajuns — and his passing was more than adequate: 21 of 30, for 347 yards and four touchdowns.

Again, that won't happen against Texas. Not 21 of 30, nor 39 first downs, nor 65 points. Walsh won't find the freedom to run against the ‘Horns that he found against the Cajuns.

But the Cowboys now know their backup quarterback is a gamer. They avoided Arkansas' fate.

“Whoever your quarterback is, nobody cares,” Monken said. “You better come up with a plan and win the game. Stop (griping) that the sky is falling.”

It fell on Arkansas. It didn't fall on OSU, thanks to J.W. Walsh.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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