One of the most intriguing questions going into the 2012 season is how exactly — and how much — backup quarterback J.W. Walsh will be used in the Cowboys' offense.
Walsh lost the starting quarterback derby to Wes Lunt during the spring, but all indications have been that Walsh will still see the field because of his ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs.
More specifically, how much will Walsh be used against Savannah State?
Will he come in as a change-up quarterback during certain situations, or just take the reins from Lunt when his night is done? Coaches will have to weigh how much to open the playbook against a clearly inferior opponent, as well as the need to try out a new wrinkle in the offense in a game situation.
“I don't know that that determination's been made,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said last week. “But I would think that you would see some of that (Walsh's package/role), and some of it will be based on what position we end up during the game — where we're at in the field, down and distance and those things.”
COX REACHES DEAL TO CARRY SAVANNAH STATE GAME
Cox Communications finalized a deal Wednesday to carry OSU's game against Savannah State. All customers in Oklahoma can see the game on channel 3 or 703 (HD).
Cox is also continuing to work on a deal to carry the Cowboys' road contest at Arizona on Sept. 8. That game is being televised by the new Pac-12 Network, which is not carried by Cox in Oklahoma.
“We've made the same offer for that game, and we're just waiting to receive the rights,” Cox director of communications Christine Martin said in an email Wednesday.
ALEX ELKINS' FAVORITE TEAMMATE TO WATCH? SHAUN LEWIS
OSU returns all three starters at linebacker and several young backups with plenty of speed, athleticism and potential.
One of those starters back is, of course, Alex Elkins. But you could also put him in the “potential” category, because of his inexperience with football.
Who did he most learn from in his first season at OSU? His mate on the outside, Shaun Lewis.
“I heard about Shaun Lewis before I got here — the freshman sensation, the All-American freshman,” Elkins said. “I guess I watched him on film a lot when I was supposed to be watching my position, just to see what his habits were and what made him so great.
“He's just a very special player, and I really enjoyed watching him play. I still do it sometimes, but I don't like to tell him, because we try not to do that to each other. We try to keep each other humble.”
OPPONENT WATCH: SAVANNAH STATE RELYING ON LINEMEN FROM AMERICAN SAMOA
Savannah State struggled mightily on offense last season, averaging just 12.5 points and 238.5 yards per game.
The Tigers hope two big — really big — newcomers on the offensive line will help in 2012. Epafara Moananu, a 6-3, 285-pound tackle, and Ioane Ioane, a 6-5, 320-pound tackle, were both recruited from the American Samoa.
“There are a sparse number of good-sized linemen out there (for small schools),” SSU coach Steve Davenport told the Savannah Morning News. “Whenever you get them, particularly young, you get a chance to mold them. We were fortunate to get them both. They're both good kids, humble. The players gravitate to them.”