“The running game that was added to our offense by Coach Yurcich played to his (Walsh's) favor, because Mississippi State struggled defending it,” Gundy said. “We were getting chunks, getting in the open field running the ball.”
Deep into the game, you realized that Chelf maybe got the start Saturday as sort of lifetime achievement award. That those first two series were one last chance for the 2012 Cinderella Man to win the job.
“Could he have had another opportunity, maybe two or three?” Gundy said of Chelf possessions. “Sure. But we had to make a decision what direction we were going, and we felt like we were getting bigger plays and had guys running in the open field more with the schemes we were using” with Walsh.
Good call. Frankly, Chelf looked overmatched in those two series. He completed just three of six passes, for 10 yards, and his three misses came on two screen passes and a longer throw that easily could have been intercepted.
Where was the magic man of November, who led OSU to great offensive totals against West Virginia, Texas Tech, OU, Baylor and Purdue? Don't know.
But it's hard to imagine Chelf regaining this job anytime soon.
Walsh is a gamer. He throws well enough that defenses have to respect his arm, which seems to be improved from a year ago, and then he's got that run threat, off all kinds of wrinkles in formations that are a mixture of several coaches.
Walsh found his rhythm by the third quarter, a period in which he completed 12 of 14 passes for 100 yards, while also running four times for 25 yards. A 7-3 game became a 21-3 OSU lead.
“J.W. just being J.W.,” said OSU flanker Josh Stewart, Walsh's high school teammate. “He just makes plays. He was the main part of our success today. It took him making big plays for us to get on the same page. Once we did, it was over for Mississippi State.”
And because of Walsh, it might be over for Clint Chelf.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.