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Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma State football: Protecting J.W. Walsh

by Berry Tramel Modified: August 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm •  Published: August 4, 2014
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Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh (4) runs ahead of fellow quarterbacks Mason Rudolph (10) and Daxx Garman (12) during the first team practice of the fall at the Sherman E. Smith Training Facility on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on August 1, 2014. Photo by KT King, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh (4) runs ahead of fellow quarterbacks Mason Rudolph (10) and Daxx Garman (12) during the first team practice of the fall at the Sherman E. Smith Training Facility on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on August 1, 2014. Photo by KT King, The Oklahoman

J.W. Walsh figures to be the OSU quarterback. But can the Cowboys afford a running QB? Walsh’s best attribute is his mobility. But running quarterbacks can get hurt. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich admitted that he wants Walsh to be careful.

“He always needs to watch himself,” Yurcich said. “We don’t want any quarterback taking unnecessary hits. There’s a time to run the quarterback. For the most part, you want to protect the quarterback. Even though we’ve had some quarterback runs, if we do play a running quarterback, an athlete guy, and we ask him to run some zone read or a quarterback draw on third-and-long, get in his face and get down, get out of bounds. We don’t want him banged up.”

Walsh has run the ball 99 times in two seasons, not counting nine sacks. That’s a significant number for a QB who has made just eight career starts.

“It’s a curveball to the defense,” Yurcich said. “When you have to account for the quarterback running, you’re making your offense a little bit more dynamic, in the fact that the defense has to account for him. That doesn’t mean you run him 15 times a game. Maybe it’s six carries he gets. And you’re being smart in how you do it. You’re not running him on 4th-and-2 up the gut, you’re running him on 2nd-and-7 on a draw, where he can get out of bounds. Where he can … not take a direct hit. We talk about that all the time. Our guys understand what our quarterbacks are trying to accomplish when they carry the rock. Secure the ball. We want our quarterback erect after every play and not take the big impact type hit.”

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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