STILLWATER — Oklahoma State fans who attended Saturday's spring finale at Boone Pickens Stadium finally got to see in person what the Cowboy coaches have expressed all spring.
There is little separation between starting quarterback contenders Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt.
The Gray team, which featured the second-team offense and the first-team defense, technically defeated the Orange team 31-21 by using a wacky scoring system that flipped a 24-0 Orange lead to the Gray at the half. But really on display were the Cowboy quarterbacks, who each passed for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns while taking turns directing the first- and second-team offense.
“Each quarterback, at times, showed signs of being good enough to start next year,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “And then I saw at times where there were some deficiencies with each one of them.”
The final stat lines for Walsh (16-of-27, 310 yards), Chelf (18-of-31, 212 yards) and Lunt (15-of-23, 215 yards) look impressive. They also took care of the ball, with a Chelf fumble accounting for the only turnover against a defense that compiled an NCAA-best 44 takeaways a year ago.
Yet each quarterback had their good moments and bad moments.
Chelf started his day with a pair of three-and-outs and then a lost fumble inside the 10-yard line. But he also orchestrated perhaps the most impressive drive of the game late in the first half, going 80 yards in 15 plays in a two-minute drill situation by spreading the ball around to four different receivers — Josh Stewart, Charlie Moore, Blake Jackson and Isaiah Anderson — before taking the ball into the end zone himself from two yards out.
“I just tried to get the ball into the playmakers' hands and make the right reads,” Chelf said. “It's not always going to be the deep ball. Try to get completion and let the skill guys go to work.”
Walsh got the first- and second-team offense into the red zone twice in the first half, but the Cowboys came away with just one Quinn Sharp field goal. But then Walsh tossed two touchdown strikes after intermission, including a 70-yard bomb to Kevin Johnson on the first play of a third-quarter drive to highlight what Gundy called Walsh's best performance of the spring.
Lunt had the fewest attempts and completions, though the crowd consistently gasped whenever the big-armed freshman let the ball rip. And he put the first touchdown on the board when he hit Charlie Moore, who then split the defense and outran it for a 58-yard score.
Actually, those three quarterbacks often found guys named “Moore.” Charlie had the game's breakout performance, hauling in nine catches for 243 yards and three touchdowns. And Tracy Moore, who has moved from inside receiver to outside to help fill the void left by Justin Blackmon, tallied four catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
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