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OSU coach Mike Gundy will keep Cyclones guessing as to who will play quarterback

Preparing for two styles of quarterbacks can be a handicap for defensive game planning, especially in a week's time.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 18, 2012

Will Wes Lunt play Saturday against Iowa State? Or will OSU stick with J.W. Walsh?

Mike Gundy's not saying, for strategic reasons. Keeping your quarterback situation a mystery is a subtle advantage for a football team.

And Kansas promises to play two quarterbacks against the Sooners on Saturday night. Charlie Weis says he will use both Dayne Crist and Michael Cummings.

Making a defense prepare for two quarterbacks, when their skill set is diverse, cuts into practice-time effectiveness.

“It causes issues, no question,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. “If you didn't know who the quarterback was, if you didn't know the style of offense you're getting ready to see, it would handicap you.”

The OSU offense under Lunt is different from the OSU offense under Walsh.

Walsh can't fire a 30-yard missile on a sideline pattern; Lunt can, as we've seen despite him playing only about five quarters this season.

But Lunt can't tuck the ball and haul out for a 50-yard run, like Walsh did against Texas. Lunt would need a golf cart and police escort to gain 50 yards on the ground.

So the defensive preparation for each is different. The Cyclones are having to game plan for the quarterback run threat and the deep pass, even though they are likely to see only one of those weapons Saturday.

“You get X number of plays a day in a team setting against a demonstration squad,” Gundy said. “There has to be a segment of who potentially could play and who they think will play.”

Most of my colleagues think Lunt returns Saturday. I sort of think it still will be Walsh. Which just goes to show the uncertainty.

Gundy, enjoying his place in this game of poker, revealed no clues on which QB he will play but said he would guess that Iowa State would prepare mostly for Walsh. More mind games for fans, media and Paul Rhoads' Iowa State staff.

Meanwhile, KU brings to Norman a 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior quarterback, Crist, who runs only on duress, and a 5-foot-10, 200-pound redshirt freshman who is labeled a dual-threat.

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by Berry Tramel
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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