MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

September 16, 2012

Redemption for Cowboys: Backup QB returns OSU to win column

— STILLWATER – Oklahoma State University true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt didn’t get the chance to rebound from last week’s loss at Arizona.

On the sixth play of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium, Lunt was taken down on a blitz by the Ragin’ Cajuns and remained on the ground – grabbing his left knee in pain. Lunt, who was reported by Fox Sports Net to have a dislocated kneecap and likely out two or three weeks, was helped off the field by trainers and J.W. Walsh took over in the backfield.

The Cowboys offense didn’t lose a beat, however, as Walsh led Oklahoma State to a 65-24 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“It’s always unfortunate when you have a player that could have some sort of a severe injury, whether it’s Wes (Lunt) or even Devin Hedgepeth,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “The hardest part of being a football coach is seeing a player that has worked hard get injured, and it puts a knot in your stomach so nothing really eases it.

“I was pleased with the way J.W. stepped in. He had a good look in his eye. There wasn’t any fear, in my opinion, and I’m pleased with that. He went out there and played.”

Walsh, who is known for his running ability, continued the productivity the Cowboy offense gets in the passing game as he went 21 for 30 (70 percent) with 347 yards and four touchdowns.

Walsh’s favorite target for the day was his high school teammate Josh Stewart. The 5-foot-10 sophomore receiver led the team with nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

“It was a good deal. We have a feeling, we have a bond already,” Stewart said. “... It’s a blessing to be able to play with him again after playing with him in high school – especially with him being my best friend.”

“To have Josh out there is an unbelievable feeling, a comforting feeling to know you have someone out there that I’ve been around for I don’t know how long. It’s nice to know he’s out there with me,” Walsh said.

With Walsh’s 347 yards, he and Lunt became the first set of Oklahoma State quarterbacks ever to have 300-plus passing games in the same season – Lunt having thrown for 436 yards in week two against Arizona.

Walsh, who was ranked as the nation’s fourth-best dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school, also made plays with his feet. The 6-2 redshirt freshman had six carries for 73 yards and a rushing touchdown – to give him five for the game.

“You’re going to get plays in different ways. As J.W. develops as a drop-back, throwing quarterback, you’ve got to play to his strengths – that’s obvious,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “He’s a guy that’s going to make as many plays with his feet as he can with his arm.”

As for OSU’s starting quarterback, Gundy said they won’t make any comments on the status of any injured players until the release of the injury report – which is sent out the Friday before a contest.

“We will release injury information on our players in this game, Friday before the next game (which won’t be until the Texas game on Sept. 29),” Gundy said. “We put a procedure in place where we put out an injury report on the Friday before a game, and we have an open week so we’ll follow that out of respect for the players any time there’s an injury.”

As far as what type of timeline Lunt could be out, Monken was uncertain.

“I’ve got no idea. I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don’t know,” Monken said. “... But as I always say, it doesn’t really matter; nobody really cares. Whoever your quarterback is you better come up with a plan that gives you chance to move it. They just want to see you win.”

– Jason Elmquist is the sports editor for the Stillwater NewsPress.

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