OSU, Texas adjusting to QB uncertainty
September, 27, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPN.com
Texas and Oklahoma State kick off in a little less than 60 hours, but for now, there's no official word on whom the Cowboys will be trotting out at quarterback.
Wes Lunt suffered a knee injury almost two weeks ago against Louisiana-Lafayette. In his absence, J.W. Walsh gave Oklahoma State confidence that it didn't need to rush Lunt back.
Walsh helped OSU score on its first eight possessions against the Ragin' Cajuns, and Walsh finished with 347 passing yards and four touchdowns, adding a rushing score and 73 yards on the ground.
Lunt's knee was in an immobilization device for a week and then Monday he had a boot put on to help stabilize his knee.
Oklahoma State plans on offering an update on Lunt's status Friday, but until then, both teams will have to put in extra hours on their game plans.
"We’re getting great reports on Wes. ... They say he's coming along very well," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "We have to run our plays. You can’t wholesale change the offense based on who’s the starting quarterback, even though there’s some variation in their ability."
Walsh made his name as a touted high schooler in Denton, Texas, just north of Dallas, with his arm and legs. Texas coaches are well aware after recruiting Walsh. Longhorns running back Malcolm Brown is familiar with Walsh, too; his high school team in Cibolo, Texas, beat Walsh and teammate Josh Stewart's team from Denton Guyer in the 2010 Texas State Championship at the Div. II 5A level.
"You just prepare for the running game anyway, because Oklahoma State’s running the ball so much better than ever before. ... We knew it came down to the wire with two quarterbacks and we could see either one of them in the game regardless of whether Wes got hurt or not," Brown said. "He’s a lot like Zac Robinson. He can run the ball. He’s tough, a coach’s kid, but he can beat you with his arm or his feet."
Stewart knows that well; he caught his first two touchdowns passes of the season from his former high school teammate.
Sue Ogrocki/AP PhotoOklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh played well in Wes Lunt's place, throwing for over 300 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette.
"When I look back, I see J.W. rolling out more, while Wes stays in the pocket a little more," Stewart said. "J.W.’s more of an out-of-the-pocket guy so I’ve got to adjust to him. When he rolls out, I have to roll with him."
Lunt, an Illinois native, doesn't have much history in Texas, but Texas coach Mack Brown has had plenty of time to do his homework from the time Lunt won the starting job after spring practice.
"Wes is just a big, tall thrower that was one of the better throwers in the country last year, a tremendous high school football player throwing for a whole lot of yards in their offense," Brown said, "but he was not a guy to run the option, run quarterback draws and that type thing."
For now, though, Lunt hasn't been ruled out, and his impact could still be felt in Saturday's game.
"He’s so mature and so advanced. You can see him on the field and it’s clear he doesn’t play like a freshman. He looks like an older player," Stewart said. "He’s still participating with the team. We don’t know much about the injury. The coaches don’t want us worrying about that, it’s just about moving on for now. Wes has been doing everything with the team. He’s preparing like he’s going to start."
Will he or won't he? We'll find out soon.
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
Final North Dakota State 34 Iowa State 14 Final West Virginia 23 2 Alabama 33 Final Louisiana Tech 16 4 Oklahoma 48 Final Samford 14 TCU 48 Final Central Arkansas 35 Texas Tech 42 Final Stephen F. Austin 16 20 Kansas State 55 Final North Texas 7 Texas 38 Final 1 Florida State 37 Oklahoma State 31