Hard to grade a spring game. What's good for the offense is bad for the defense, and versa visa. But some things, good and bad, stand out and did Saturday in OSU's Orange-Gray Game.
Quarterbacks: B. Any apparent difference between the three candidates was marginal. Statistically, they were very close. Clint Chelf completed 18 of 31 for 212 yards, J.W. Walsh completed 16 of 27 for 310 yards (courtesy of a late flurry) and Wes Lunt completed 15 of 23 for 215 yards. Each threw two touchdowns and no interceptions. Chelf lost a fumble on an unforced error, but Walsh and Lunt each had multiple passes tipped at the line.
Charlie Moore: A. What a day for the former high school quarterback — nine catches, 243 yards, three touchdowns. Moore's most impressive moment came late. Moore dropped an easy throw from Walsh, but Walsh went right back to Moore on the next play, and Moore made a leaping catch, wrestling the ball away from promising cornerback Miketavius Jones for a 44-yard gain. Good recovery.
Backup linebackers: A. When Mike Gundy was asked about defenders who stood out, his first response was, “27, 29, 41.” Those are the jersey numbers of backup linebackers Lyndell Johnson, Joe Mitchell and Nico Ornelas.
Uniforms: D. The orange was solid, but the gray jerseys are a tough sell. You can't see the numbers. And where were the green jerseys for the quarterbacks? Green jerseys are a rite of spring in Stillwater. Bring back the greens.
Defensive hands: A. OSU's pass rushers tipped at least five passes at the line of scrimmage. Ryan Simmons, Christian Littlehead, Calvin Barnett, Anthony Rogers and Davidell Collins all got their hands on passes. That's a nice trait to take into September.
Catching punts: F. No rush. No returns. All Quinn Sharp had to do was punt the ball, and all Josh Stewart (and Justin Gilbert) had to do was catch the punt. And Stewart dropped or bobbled three punts, while letting another bounce in front of him and not even seeing another. Even the sure-handed Gilbert dropped a punt, after watching Stewart muff several. When Stewart finally caught a punt in the second half, the crowd cheered sarcastically, and Stewart raised his arms in admission of his guilt.
Short-yardage offense: C. The Cowboys five times faced third or fourth down needing three yards or less for a first down. They converted three of the five, two on Chelf passes. Lunt threw incomplete on a 3rd-and-3.
Run defense: A. OSU tailbacks gained 100 yards on 28 carries. That's 3.6 yards per carry. And it's not like walk-ons were running the ball all day. Joseph Randle (29 yards) and Jeremy Smith (14 yards) each had eight carries.