The Edmond Sun

November 8, 2012

Quarterback carousel continues to spin at OSU

Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service

EDMOND — Before the season started, the quarterback depth chart was well known and easy to understand for the Oklahoma State football team. But then, the season started.

In Week 3, the starter got injured and the backup became the starter and the third-stringer became the backup. The Cowboys also brought in a former walk-on to become the new third-string quarterback.

Then the starter at the beginning of the season returned and became the backup, while the backup at the beginning of the season remained the starter and the third-string quarterback who had become the backup went back to being the third-stringer.

Still following along?

Then the backup, who was now the starter, went down with an injury so the starter at the beginning of the season, who returned as the backup, then became the starter again. While the third-string quarterback, who had became the backup then returned to being the third-stringer, was once again the backup.

But then this past Saturday, the starter at the beginning of the season went out with concussion-like symptoms and the third-string quarterback, turned backup, turned third-stringer, turned backup again, came in to play much of the second half and could potentially now be the starter this week.

Got everything?

No? Well, you’re not alone. That’s just how insane the quarterback situation has been for the Cowboys this season.

“When I’m off the field I think about how crazy it’s been,” OSU senior offensive lineman Lane Taylor said. “I’ve never seen a situation like this. But we’re going to have faith in whoever is back there.”

Due to the injuries to the top two quarterbacks, Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh, junior third-string quarterback Clint Chelf may find himself starting a game this season after all. Chelf, who finished third in the quarterback battle during the spring, looked every bit the part of a potential starting quarterback when he came in against Kansas State on Saturday and led OSU on three late-game scoring drives — effectively turning what looked to be a blowout into a more respectable two-touchdown loss.

“He’s a fighter. I think (Brandon) Weeden had to go through something like this in one point in his career,” OSU running back Joseph Randle said. “So maybe this is a start of something new. You never know. I always knew he could play good football and always thought he'd be a good quarterback for us. We have a lot of faith in him back there.”

The effectiveness of the Enid native in Lunt’s absence shouldn’t much of a surprise. Chelf had served as Brandon Weeden’s backup the last two years and already has a solid understanding of the high-powered offense.

“I’ve been here a long time and have been able to see what other quarterbacks have done ahead of me,” Chelf said. “... I'll be ready to play. I've always been ready to play. It's nice to get some reps in in some game situation. But a lot of guys have confidence in me and that's what I build off of.”