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Roundtable on J.W. Walsh




Nielsen Network & O’Colly

Some of the guys (Amilian, Nolo, OKC Dave, Carson) and I got together to discuss J.W. Walsh, Wes Lunt, and how all of this is going to shake out. Enjoy.

1. Finish this sentence: J.W. Walsh is _____________.

OKC Dave – still a freshman. I’m excited about how he played against Louisiana – how could you not be? But people need to remember that he’s still going to make mistakes, and those mistakes are likely to cost us a game or two as long as he’s in the lineup. The good news is that he played very well in the highest level of Texas high school ball, he has a year under his belt learning from Monken and Weeden, and he seems to have a natural confidence that will help him bounce back from the freshman mistakes he’s likely to make.

Carson – limited but a play-maker.

Nolo – a gamer, a good teammate, and the kind of guy that’s easy to root for. Zac 2.0.

Amilian – going to scare the hell out of me on his floaters against Texas. There were a couple passes that were knocked down or barely squeezed between defenders against Louisiana. Texas will make plays on those balls.

Pistols – going to have to win the Texas game with his arm. It won’t take a lot, and honestly I’m not sure if he’s even capable of a little, but running the game open against Louisiana’s linebackers and ends is a little different than running it open against Texas (see: 2009 performance, Zac Robinson).

2. What is OSU’s final record with Walsh at the helm? What about Lunt?

OKC Dave – Walsh: 7-5 | Lunt: 9-3

Carson – Walsh: 8-4, teams limiting the run game & forcing him to air it out is a bad recipe. Lunt: 9-3. I think Lunt is capable of winning a shootout with Dana. I don’t think Walsh could keep answering Geno.

Nolo – Walsh: 8-5 | Lunt: 9-4

Amilian – Walsh: 7-5 | Lunt: 9-3. It seems unfair to blame Walsh for two additional losses, but Walsh can’t outrun Texas defenders and his (lack of) arm strength will allow their DBs to make plays on the ball. I also think we’d lose to West Virginia without both a strong pass and run game. I have OSU losing to OU & KSU with either QB. (Note: By next Friday I’ll be predicting OSU to win no matter which QB is starting. You know…that good ol’ Cowboy optimism)

Pistols – Walsh: 7-5 | Lunt: 8-4

3. Which skill position player benefits most from Walsh being on the field?

OKC Dave – I’m really hoping the answer to this question isn’t Quandre Diggs. Seriously though, the only correct answer is Josh Stewart. Blake Jackson is probably second because Walsh will favor passes over the middle while Lunt is more capable of making throws to the outside receivers. Randle and Smith will benefit from getting more carries. Tracy Moore gets the chance to blossom into the best downfield blocker in OSU history.

Carson – Josh Stewart is the easy answer. But another is Blake Jackson. Walsh’s success lies in throws over the middle, where Jackson can thrive.

Nolo – Josh Stewart. He was talented to begin with but the chemistry these two have can’t be quantified. Having a couple extra years of playing pitch and catch under their belt will pay dividends for these two. There’s just something about playing sports with your best friends that raises your level of play.

Amilian – I tried to think outside the box on this one, but it’s Josh Stewart. As many have pointed out, they started developing on-field chemistry in high school and the trust a QB has in a WR plays a huge factor in the number of targets he gets.

Pistols – I think the answer to this is actually Desmond Roland. We’re going to wear out Randle and Smith more than usual and Roland could see some two back time as a result. I’m not saying he’s going to go off but it’s a lot easier to put up yards on the field than it is from the bench.

4. Why should OSU fans be excited about #4?

OKC Dave – Because when Lunt comes back we will know two things for sure: 1) we have a very solid backup quarterback who is ready to come in and will at minimum give us a chance to win any game. 2) Walsh has given Monken a gift. Monken and every defensive coordinator we face now have a lot to think about. How often we use Walsh and in what capacity remain to be seen, but there is no question that we have a valuable weapon at QB2.

Carson – Because he’s committed to the program & a winner. Most said Weeden wasn’t good in practice, he was just a gamer. Walsh may have the same makeup, which means the offense is in good hands.

Nolo – What’s not to be excited about? He’s an Elite 11 freshman QB who was close to winning the starting job in the spring. He’s going to thrive when the play breaks down and will still be able to make the majority of the throws from 0-25 yards that Lunt can. Sure we’re taking a small step back this season, everyone knew that coming in.

But the most exciting part is that we’re at the point, as a program, where we have backups the caliber of J.W. to come in when a guy goes down. We’ve come a long way from the Alex Cate/Al Pena(!) days which weren’t that long ago.

Amilian – Collin Klein led K-State to a surprising year with his legs in 2011. I’m not saying Walsh is identical to Klein, but with better WRs and RBs, he doesn’t need to be.

Pistols – Because we might have the best backup QB in the Big 12…

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