Wes Lunt beat out J.W. Walsh for the Oklahoma State starting quarterback job because his skill set is an ideal fit for the Cowboys' throw-first, spread offense, and he performed better during spring practice.
But coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday that the Cowboys will still likely find a way to get Walsh, the dual-threat redshirt freshman, on the field in certain situations.
“There's always discussions on trying to get any player involved in our team on offense or defense that can help us win or deserves it,” Gundy said. “…we have a freshman who's got a ton of ability who didn't get named the starter that brings a different aspect of the table (with) his strengths.
“We would love to find ways to get him involved, and ultimately, I think we will.”
Many people in this state, or who follow the Big 12, last season became familiar with the
“Belldozer” package at Oklahoma, which utilized 6-foot-6, 254-pound backup quarterback Blake Bell in goal-line and short-yardage situations with wildly successful results. Walsh does not sport that big frame — he's 6-2, 200 pounds — but is a savvy athlete and playmaker who would give OSU's pass-happy system a new layer that it did not have the past two seasons.
GUNDY CALLS BIG 12 UNITY ‘BETTER THAN EVER'
During the height of conference realignment last fall, Gundy sounded off at a press conference, expressing sadness and frustration that Missouri and Texas A&M were departing for the SEC and the Big Eight/Big 12 environment he's been surrounded by for most of his playing and coaching career seemed to be deteriorating.
But with the additions of TCU and West Virginia stabilizing the conference, Gundy said Tuesday the unity of the Big 12 is “better than ever.”
“I've said this from Day 1 … I'm a Big Eight/Big 12 guy,” Gundy said. “I hated to see Missouri leave. I hated to see A&M leave. But once it took place, there's not two better choices than what we got, for various reasons.”
The Cowboys play both of the Big 12 newbies at home this season, with TCU visiting Boone Pickens Stadium on Oct. 27 and West Virginia on Nov. 10.
GUNDY AND HOLGORSEN REUNITED — SORT OF
The rapid nature of Big 12 Media Days, where players and coaches are whisked from interview room to interview room, does not allow for a lot of casual chatter between coaches.
That means there wasn't much time for Gundy to catch up with Dana Holgorsen, OSU's former offensive coordinator who now leads West Virginia into the Big 12 as its head coach.
Around 11 a.m., Gundy said during an interview session that he had not yet even seen Holgorsen. Then around lunchtime, the pair exchanged waves in a hallway while Holgorsen was quickly moving in between national television interviews and Gundy was taking a phone call.
Holgorsen and two of his assistants — Joe DeForest and Robert Gillespie — are certainly familiar with the Big 12 and the Cowboys, and vice versa. But Holgorsen shrugged off any concerns about facing OSU, and the offense he installed there in 2010, this season.
“They'll probably know as much about us as we know them,” Holgorsen said. “We've got some guys defensively that come from there, obviously. We've got some guys offensively that come from there.
“It'll probably be similar to the way it was back in 2000, when Coach (Mike) Leach left Oklahoma and went to Texas Tech. You had two teams playing in the same offense that knew a lot about each other. I don't know if it's going to help you or hurt you.”