So which OK State quarterback will play in the season opener against Mississippi State?
Clint Chelf (who started the final five games last year, leading the OSU offense to more than 50 points per game, including a blowout of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl)?...
Or J.W. Walsh (who also led the 'Pokes to multiple Big 12 victories as a starter and racked up 20 total touchdowns as a passer and runner last season)?...
Mike Gundy's answer: Yes.
"We're gonna play both guys," Gundy said Thursday. "It'd be hard for me to predict reps but I don't feel like either one will be a back-up in the first game."
Two starters. No back-ups. It doesn't actually make sense, but I understand what Gundy means and I totally agree with the approach.
Chelf and Walsh have similar, but not identical skill sets. Chelf finished the season as the Cowboys' signal-caller and had the 'pistols firing' early and often. As a starter, the offense scored more and seemed to score more effortlessly than with Walsh at the controls. That said, this is a new year and this offense has several new pieces (offensive coordinator included). Until we see this group in action, in games that matter, both Chelf and Walsh deserve a look.
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With Joseph Randle off to the NFL and three offensive line starters lost to graduation, this year's Cowboys might just need Walsh's superior running ability to keep defenses guessing.
For now, Gundy really does have two starters and no back-ups. But not for long.