Oklahoma State football: Cowboys QB Clint Chelf adds West Virginia to list of defeated foes
OSU FOOTBALL — Clint Chelf has overcome disappointment, impatience and discouragement. And now he's overcome West Virginia in his first start as a collegiate quarterback.
STILLWATER – First, momentum turned on Clint Chelf. A 17-point OSU lead had withered to four.
Then West Virginia's defense, such as it is, tired of punching bag status, came after Chelf with blitz after blitz.
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Tough spot for a quarterback in his starting debut. But no fears. Chelf had already defeated mightier foes than momentum and rushing linebackers. Disappointment and impatience and discouragement.
Add West Virginia to the list. Chelf carved out his place in Cowboy lore Saturday, leading OSU to a 55-34 rout of the Mountaineers at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Amazingly, the Cowboys now have three quarterbacks with Big 12 wins this year. But as rousing as were the stories of true freshman Wes Lunt and hearty redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh, they can't match the tale of Chelf, the third-team quarterback from nearby Enid who got a day in the sun he had no reason to think would every come.
“I'm very happy he decided to stay with us,” Mike Gundy said. “It's not been easy for him this season.”
Chelf has admitted he considered transferring after being designated third team in May. But he stayed the course, and with Lunt and Walsh banged up – dressed and available to play, but limited in practice time – Chelf took over the Cowboy offense and played superb. He completed 22 of 31 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Chelf's lone interception was only partially his fault; his strike to Charlie Moore was in traffic but on target before bouncing off Moore's hands.
How many major college teams ever have sported three quarterbacks each with a conference win?
And here's how good Chelf was. Even if Lunt and Walsh are available next week against Texas Tech, Chelf has to be in the discussion to keep the job.
“Chelf is a fighter,” said flanker Josh Stewart, who had 13 catches for 172 yards. “We're happy to have him as our quarterback. There's nobody better than him right now. We just know that with Chelf at quarterback, we're pretty good right now.”
OSU coaches will stay mum, of course, but they were quick to admit how happy the Chelf saga made them.
“I'm so happy for him,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “That's why you do it. We're in this game for the guys you coach.
“When guys stay here as long as he has and work as hard as he has, you just hope that it works out for him like it did. It's just a tribute to him.”
Chelf looked good in the second half the previous week against Kansas State – “That half gave me a lot of confidence,” he said – but Monken took it slow with Chelf against West Virginia.
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