By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Big 12 Conference recognized just how big it is to be able to eclipse a record previously set by Brandon Weeden.
Monday, Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against UTSA Saturday in San Antonio.
In just a half of work — and the opening drive of the third quarter — Walsh went 24 of 27 with 326 yards and four touchdowns, along with five carries for 12 yards and a rushing touchdown. The redshirt sophomore’s completion percentage of 88.9 broke Weeden’s OSU record for completion percentage — which was previously 85.7 against Kansas in 2011.
“It feels really good to come away with something like that, but at the end of the day if we play like that and have that kind of success ... it’s always a good day,” Walsh said.
Oklahoma State has had a player named to the conference weekly awards the first two weeks of the season with linebacker Caleb Lavey receiving the defensive honor after OSU’s season opener against Mississippi State.
“It’s always nice to get some type of recognition for all the hard work you’ve put in and getting to show it during game time,” Walsh said. “But we’re just going to keep playing and no matter what recognitions we get or what kind of awards come our way, we’re not too worried about that. We’re just out there playing football.”
And it takes 11 players, not just one, to allow an offense to rack up 605 yards — with 518 yards passing from both Walsh and backup Clint Chelf, who went 11 for 16 with 192 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. That’s something first-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich stressed when talking about his team’s success moving the ball against UTSA.
“I don’t think it’s just about one guy. A lot of things had to happen. To be able to throw the ball as well as we did, we had to have great pass protection — from the tailbacks to the offensive line — and we had to have great route running and receivers catch the ball in space,” Yurcich said. “When all those things happen, when you play as a team, then you get the production that we had. That’s really what it was about — all the guys playing together.”
And those offensive linemen will make sure Walsh knows without the big men up front, his record day would have been difficult.
“I’m going to have to hit him up for that, see what I can get out of him,” offensive lineman Brandon Webb said. “We want to see our skill guys — the running backs, receivers and quarterbacks — do well because if protect for him, he can throw for a lot of yards and if we block for them, they can run for a lot of yards. ... I’m going to go ahead and see if we can get the offensive line together, get around and ask him where the dinner is at.”
The Cowboy quarterback said he’ll be more than happy to take his linemen out for dinner.
“Those guys deserve it for sure. When you have that kind of protection, good things always happen,” Walsh. “They definitely deserve something, they’ve done a great job. ... Those guys deserve more than the dollar menu. We’ll see what we can do for those guys.”