Oklahoma State football: It's J.W. Walsh's job to lose — and to win

Last August, J.W. Walsh emerged as OSU’s stealth candidate at quarterback. This August, Walsh flew as the primary candidate. And he’ll enter the season opener Saturday against Florida State as the starter. From there, however, who knows how the position will play out?
Oklahoman Modified: August 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm •  Published: August 24, 2014

Last August, J.W. Walsh emerged as OSU’s stealth candidate at quarterback.

This August, Walsh flew as the primary candidate.

And he’ll enter the season opener Saturday against Florida State as the starter.

From there, however, who knows how the position will play out?

It’s Walsh’s job to lose, for sure. But then, it was his job to lose – which he did – after temporarily claiming it from Clint Chelf a year ago.

Still, the hope within the program is that he’s ready to thrive in the position entering just his junior season.

Yet there’s some fear, too, that Walsh’s 2013 flaws of inconsistency and limited arm strength and shaky decision making return as a storyline. And along with that, there’s curiosity of what exactly the Cowboys have in backup quarterbacks Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph.

And that curiosity is likely to be explored.

The only questions are how seriously; and with what urgency?

Walsh earns high praise as a leader and a winner. And those are coveted qualities.

And he was won.

Going forward, to keep winning and to keep his grasp on the job, here are some vital factors in play:

Head Game. Walsh had the Cowboys at 4-1 and ahead in another game a year ago, when a goal-line interception against TCU brought an end to his starter status. In an earlier loss at West Virginia, he audibled to a fade pass that was picked off, flipping the momentum of that game away from OSU. And that pick against TCU – his second of the game and his fifth of the season – were enough for Cowboys coaches. This time around, he’ll need to be much wiser and more efficient.

Hill Thrills. Tyreek Hill is the kind of talent that can change game plans – for his offense and enemy defenses. If Hill is as good as believed, commanding major attention, he could relieve his quarterback of significant pressure to make more than his share of plays.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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