Oklahoma State used multiple quarterbacks during the 2012 season, in part because of injury issues. The competition continued in spring practice, fall camp and will likely continue into the 2013 season.
Cowboys coach Mike Gundy announced Thursday that both senior Clint Chelf and sophomore J.W. Walsh will play in the season opener against Mississippi State on Aug. 31. Both quarterbacks passed for more than 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and the staff feels comfortable with either player under center.
"We're going to play both guys," Gundy said. "That hasn't changed since the spring. Both quarterbacks have improved. I don't really know any other way to say it, than what I've been saying the last five months. Both guys have been doing a good job, we're glad we have them and they'll both get a chance to play."
Chelf was the starter at the end of the 2012 season, taking over after Lunt and Walsh suffered injuries and leading the Cowboys to big victories over West Virginia, Texas Tech and Purdue in the Oklahoma State's bowl game.
Walsh is considered a better runner than Chelf, contributing in short-yardage situations when Chelf was the starter and earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. But even considering those advantages, Gundy understands that having both quarterbacks available makes the Cowboys more diverse on offense.
"We have the same offense, but we try to play to the strengths of whoever's in there," Gundy said. "Both quarterbacks have continued to improve and play well."
As long as the players agree with the decision, Gundy's two-quarterback attack could create real problems for opponents preparing to face the Cowboys. First-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich ripped through D-II defenses while at Shippensburg University, setting new school records for points, touchdowns, total plays, first downs and total offense.
An up-tempo offense with two proven quarterbacks sounds difficult to stop. On Aug. 31, we will see how it fares against Mississippi State.