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Satire: J.W. Walsh Owes Running Success to Kindergarteners



J.W. Walsh may be Oklahoma State’s backup quarterback, but he has been crucial to OSU’s success in the red zone.

Walsh’s dynamic management of his goal line offense and effectiveness as runner have helped OSU go from averaging 27.6 points per game in 2014 to 44 points per game in 2015.

However last week versus Texas Tech, Walsh took on a more prominent role with the offense. On top of an impressive 167 yards passing on 5 attempts, Walsh ran for 80 yards and one touchdown on 8 carries.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich praised Walsh’s ability to run the zone read, citing that Walsh was “reading defensive ends in kindergarten.”

“I mean, the defensive tackles are in kindergarten too, but the ends are clearly 5 years old,” said Yurcich.

Yurcich explained that the team has been bussing in kindergarteners for the last few weeks to take reps on the practice squad’s defensive line, particularly for goal line situations. The children range in size but are all scrappy and equally difficult for the offensive line to block because of how small they are.

“They’re a lot like squirrels,” said Yurcich. “They just dart and zip around you and before you know it, they’re in the backfield sacking the quarterback for a loss of 8 yards. They keep us on our toes.”

Walsh also praised the mobility of the kindergarteners, noting that their movements are generally so erratic that he has be very patient on his reads, particularly with a boy named Johnny Patson who has pledged to stuff the run on every down.

“Sometimes Johnny is coming off the edge and I have see if he’s coming for me or Jeff [Carr],” said Walsh. “You know, the success of the play depends on me quickly assessing where his adorable eyes are looking, and I take that very seriously.”

“It’s the giggles that get you, man,” said Carr. “They sneak their way around a block, and start chasing you down giggling like tiny clowns. Man, you feel like you’re running for your life.”

Walsh said while the giggling is difficult, their ability to wrap up and leg tackle is also especially hard to combat.

“They hop on my foot and ask me to give them a ride down the field,” said Walsh. “And I’m like, ‘No, I’m trying to run for a five-yard touchdown, I can’t give you a ride down the field on my foot.’ That’s how deep their mind games go, so I just try to avoid any contact.”

Head coach Mike Gundy said he had been pleased overall with how the class of kindergarteners has handled practicing with a Big 12 caliber team.[1. Ed. note: Porter here. I was editing this and I almost started crying real tears from laughing so hard when I read this.]

“They’ve done ok,” said Gundy. “They have a nose for the ball and show good quickness. Of course, we told them there’s ice cream inside the ball, so that might be a part of the reason. But then again, that’s what we tell number 38 [Emmanuel Ogbah] and it seems to be working out okay with him too.”

The kindergarteners’ teacher, Nancy Berryman, said she’s just glad that they’re running around outside instead of on top of her desk.

Walsh noted that while practicing against the kindergarteners has been challenging, the production on the field is a testament to their effectiveness.

“They might be terrifying, but they’re an inspiration,” said Walsh. “Some of defensive guys are even trying to wear adult-sized OshKosh B’Gosh. They’re the main reason we’re in the position we’re in. If you can last a day in a kindergarten, winning in Morgantown, Austin, and Lubbock is nothing.”

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