Oklahoma State football: Expect J.W. Walsh to start against Kansas

The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today's OSU Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Take a look at the Q&A.
by Gina Mizell Modified: October 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today's OSU Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A:

If Lunt doesn't start, does he play at all against KU?

The only situation I could see that happening is if he's healthy enough, and Walsh gets the start but struggles. Hard to see that happening against KU. Monken said yesterday he's encouraged by Lunt's progress--he was in pads and throwing during Sunday's practice--but it's a matter of seeing if he can run. Gundy said Lunt's reps will increase as his pain decreases, and that's hard to predict. My hunch: Walsh starts.

If Lunt is physically able to play Saturday, do you think the coaches would rather play him and get him some more game experience, or hold him out and give him another week to make sure he is ready to go for the more difficult part of the schedule coming up?

Gundy stressed yesterday that they won't bring Lunt back until he's 100 percent ready. How silly would it be for him to re-aggravate the injury against...Kansas? J.W. Walsh can beat Kansas. I think there is something to easing Lunt back into things in a game situation, but it's probably smarter to wait until he's completely good to go.

Is this the game in which the defense turns in a huge turnover game (when they probably don't need to)?

It's certainly a game that could start that trend, with Kansas already turning the ball over 12 times and their offense being generally terrible. Bill Young still believes they can come in bunches and then they'll be rolling. October was OSU's most successful turnover month last season, so it'll be interesting to see if they can get that going again in three very winnable games against KU, Iowa State and TCU.

Will Desmond Roland have a huge day?

Perhaps if Jeremy Smith doesn't play (he's still listed No. 2 on the depth chart, for whatever that's worth). Or if the game is already a blowout and Roland plays the majority of the second half. Roland has had some nice moments this season, for sure.

Is it possible for OSU to get 9 wins already down 2-2?

It's certainly possible, but will be difficult with dates at Kansas State, at OU and against West Virginia still on the schedule. Who knows, though, with how wide open this Big 12 race still appears to be. I predicted eight wins for the Cowboys at the start of the season. Seven appears more likely now. That loss to Arizona looks worse and worse each week, with the Wildcats now 0-3 in Pac-12 play.

Has Castleman been the best player on this defense so far? If not, who has been?

Lots of criticism of the D, but what areas are they excelling in compared to last year?

Taking these together, because they go hand-in-hand. The defensive tackles have been very good. I expected Calvin Barnett to be a force right away, but Castleman has been a pleasant surprise. I think he probably has been the best defensive player so far. Overall, the run defense has been very solid. The secondary, and the inability to get stops on third and fourth down, have clearly been the weaknesses.

With OSU having two good quarterbacks, is there a split locker room?

Not from what I can tell, but it's difficult to see what life is really like in the locker room when you're not there on a daily basis. Players were sold on Lunt at the start of the season, including guys like Josh Stewart, who is Walsh's best friend. But I'm sure guys are thrilled Walsh has played so well--it certainly beats the alternative of him playing poorly. We've touched on it several times, but this is Lunt's job. That's no knock on Walsh, but he just doesn't fit this offense as well as Lunt does. And Gundy talked yesterday again about that coaches can't just ignore how well he's played and the extra "something" he brings to this team, and that they need to figure out how to get him on the field once Lunt comes back. I'm curious to see how that all develops.


by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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