Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma State football: It’s OK for Gundy to go mum

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm •  Published: April 22, 2013

talks to the media after football practice in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
talks to the media after football practice in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Last April, a week or so after OSU spring football practice, Mike Gundy named Wes Lunt the starting quarterback. Issued a press release and everything. Virtually stood in the town square with a megaphone to tell the world who would quarterback the Cowboys.

This April, Gundy says he’s maintaining a vow of silence. Says he’ll stay mum on his quarterback situation. Claims to have zipped it up and ordered his coaches and players to do the same.

And you really can’t blame him.

If Gundy believes that keeping his quarterback plans a secret will help his squad in the Aug. 31 season opener against Mississippi State, then power to him.

I’ve told Gundy to suck it up and play a good schedule. If he believes quarterback intrigue will help navigate that good schedule, then bully for him. Whatever he thinks best in thriving against a good schedule.

“We’re not going to say anything about the quarterbacks until after the first game,” Gundy said Saturday. “From this point moving forward. There’s not really anything else we can say.”

It seems clear that Clint Chelf remains the No. 1 quarterback, and the spring game gave us little reason to think that will change. Chelf took 43 of the 130 snaps in the Orange-White Game on Saturday. J.W. Walsh took 34. Lunt took 31. None has played enough to warrant taking it easy in the spring. All need work.

Gundy as recently as two weeks ago was reiterating what he said during bowl week in December, that Chelf had earned the starting job. Nothing had changed, Gundy said, but perhaps this changed. Gundy figured out that with three productive quarterbacks – one a non-runner (Lunt), one an excellent runner (Walsh) and one somewhere in the middle (Chelf) – maybe it would be advantageous to make the quarterback situation a mystery to Mississippi State.

Who knows? Maybe someone besides Chelf will start down in Houston.

“We’ve got a plan in place,” Gundy said. “We’ve got three really good quarterbacks. We’re going to continue to move forward. There’s just not really much we can say about the quarterbacks. ‘Til we play a game, we’re going to continue to stay with the plan we have and what gives us the best chance to have success in the first game.”

What’s interesting is that Gundy last spring named a starter in April because, he said, he wanted his team to know its leader through summer workouts. So who leads the team through this summer’s workouts? Maybe it’s a shared job, when all three have produced.

Remember, all three had 300-yard passing games. All three produced notable victories. Lunt beat TCU. Walsh beat Iowa State and dang near beat Texas. Chelf beat West Virginia and dang near beat OU.

“With those guys, we can score on anybody,” said State cornerback Justin Gilbert.

None of three was overly impressive Saturday. Gundy said the vanillaness of the offense contributed to that. OSU didn’t do much with its multiple schemes as it split the squads. That seemed to hurt the offense more than the defense, as the Cowboys had to temper their up-tempo offense because of a lack of offensive linemen.

“We were very vanilla with what we were doing on offense,” Gundy said. “For two reasons. One, just because we think that’s best for Oklahoma State football right now. And two, our style of play, we had guys out there that hadn’t played as much. We just couldn’t run as many different schemes and as many plays as we would on any given day.”

Lunt clearly has the best arm of the three, and Walsh the worst. So just like the running ability, Chelf is in the middle.

“We’ve got our guys in the position we want ‘em,” Gundy said. “They’re all working hard. They all have had good springs. They’re all three better. We’re fortunate that we have three. We’ll continue to work ‘em the way we feel like gives us the chance to have the most success, until the first game.

“We’ve been very fortunate they’ve been really good kids. Been great team players. They’ve been as nice to each other and have been as loyal to the team as they can.”

 

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 Oklahoman,...
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