Overall the quarterback picture in the Big 12 is pretty fuzzy unless your team plays its home games in Austin, Texas. The most exciting QB battle will be taking place up in Stillwater, Oklahoma where the Oklahoma State Cowboys will have a three way battle for the starting spot.
Both Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh will be sophomores for the 2013 season and Clint Chelf will be going into his senior year.
Lunt and Walsh split time in the Cowboy’s first game of 2012, but Lunt took over until he went out with an injury against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. At that point Walsh stepped in and performed well until he was injured prior to the ‘Pokes game against the TCU Horned Frogs. Lunt came back for two games before once again getting hurt, which is when Chelf came in and pretty much finished out the season.
Lunt went 83-131 for 1108 yards, 6 TDs and 7 INTs during his playing time in 2012. While he was looked to as the man to beat going into last season, I don’t think the same is true this time around. Both Walsh and Chelf put up better numbers in 2012, especially in terms of TD/INT ratio. It will be an uphill battle for Lunt to get back into the starting spot at Oklahoma State, but as we saw in 2012 the unforeseen can happen and he might have the chance to step in and win the job back.
The real battle will be between Walsh and Chelf. The two saw more playing time than Lunt and did more with that time. Chelf is the oldest of the three, but got passed up by both of the younger players for the job at the start of 2012.
Chelf had a fairly solid completion percentage, connecting on 60.4% of his passes for 1588 yards, 15 TDs and 6 INTs. He also ran for 162 yards on 31 attempts. As I mentioned Chelf has been around head coach Mike Gundy’s system in Stillwater for the longest time, which could give him a slight edge. My vote goes to Walsh though.
Walsh had a 66.9% completion percentage in 2012 and threw for 13 TDs and just 3 INTs. On the ground he carried the ball 50 times for 290 yards. Chelf had three games in which he threw for more than 250 yards, and in one of those he broke the 300 yard mark. Walsh threw for better than 250 on four occasions. Two of those saw him go for over 300 and one for over 400. Walsh is a young playmaker that can rally the team. I think he will have the edge in this position battle.
Oklahoma State should make a strong push for the Big 12 Championship in 2013, and having a solid guy under center will be a valuable asset in the conference this coming season. I’m eyeballing the ‘Pokes Nov. 16 trip to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns as the game that will decide how the Big 12 shakes out in 2013.
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