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Oklahoma State football: Texas game gives J.W. Walsh opportunity to prove he can lead offense

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: September 28, 2012

/articleid/3714037/1/pictures/1845682">Photo - OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh (4), right, sings the alma mater next to Charlie Moore (17) after a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. OSU won, 65-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh (4), right, sings the alma mater next to Charlie Moore (17) after a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. OSU won, 65-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Walsh, a dual-threat quarterback, has often been associated with former OSU quarterback Zac Robinson and the offense the Cowboys ran before the arrival of Dana Holgorsen. Yes, the former offensive coordinator installed OSU's current throw-first spread system, but he also offered Walsh a scholarship — after watching him throw.

“He had offers to run triple option, he could have been under center, doing play action at certain places, and we had this offense to choose from,” John said. “Him and Wes are different, obviously. Just because they're different doesn't mean they both can't work in this offense.”

It's clear that Walsh doesn't have the same arm strength or accuracy as Lunt. But he does have a special ability to run, which could come in handy against an aggressive group of Longhorn defenders.

John said J.W. never settled into the backup quarterback role when Lunt beat him out in the spring. The father and son talked constantly about J.W. needing to take “mental reps” during practice by visualizing himself in the play.

And with more actual reps during the bye week, and possibly in the practices leading up to Saturday's game, Walsh's confidence and chemistry with OSU's receivers has grown.

Despite being passed over for the starting quarterback job, Walsh has been regarded as a leader in the Cowboy locker room.

Now he may be leading them on the field in their Big 12 opener.

“You still have people who believe in you, still believe in your leadership,” Walsh said, “and look at you, still, to help the team succeed in any way you can. That's a big confidence-booster, and eventually it will help the team.”


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