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OSU football: Starting Clint Chelf at quarterback is the wrong move

BERRY TRAMEL COMMENTARY — Since taking over as OSU's starting quarterback, Clint Chelf has completed 39.2 percent of his passes. If that's going to continue, you might as well stick with J.W. Walsh.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 1, 2013

Clint Chelf was handed the OSU offense seven quarters ago. And since then, Chelf has completed 39.2 percent of his passes.

The Cowboys are 2-0 with Chelf, but that's a testament to the watered-down Big 12, not the resiliency of the OSU offense.

Now the Cowboys are out here on the South Plains, with a must-win-for-title-contention game against Texas Tech, and OSU apparently will stick with Chelf.

I think it's the wrong move. Chelf's superior arm can stretch defenses. But J.W. Walsh's superior accuracy is more valuable than Chelf's deep balls.

Throwing deep is helpful. Completing short is mandatory.

And Chelf has proven to be an inaccurate passer. In the eight games over two years in which he's served as more than a mopup quarterback, Chelf has completed just 56.3 percent of his passes. Good for the 1980s. Not good for the 2010s.

Of Chelf's 16 misfires at Iowa State, one came on a miscommunication (Chelf's fault), one came when a receiver slipped, two came via dropped passes, one came on a tip at the line of scrimmage, four were well-covered and seven came when receivers were open and Chelf missed them. Often badly.

That can't happen Saturday at 15th-ranked Tech. Doesn't matter if it's Chelf or Walsh. The Red Raiders have used two true freshman quarterbacks, Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield, and both have outplayed Walsh and Chelf, who were productive last season.

And above all, OSU has to complete short passes. No throws at the feet of Tracy Moore on a slant. No crossing patterns behind Josh Stewart.

“I'm with you 100 percent,” OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said.

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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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