J.W. Walsh’s stretch of three consecutive starts at quarterback for Oklahoma State has come to an end, and it’s not for lack of performance.
Walsh, who passed for a career-high 415 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for another score in Saturday’s win over Iowa State, suffered a leg injury in the first quarter of the game but continued to play.
Guyer head coach John Walsh, J.W.’s father, confirmed on Monday the injury was a fracture of the knee, but did not include any ligament damage and will not require surgery.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said in numerous reports J.W. Walsh is out for the season, but he is only expected to miss 3-5 weeks, John Walsh said. Missing five games would have him back for the regular-season finale against Baylor.
The injury will likely put true freshman Wes Lunt, who hasn’t played since a knee injury on the sixth play of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette back on Sept. 15, back under center.
Lunt won the starting job over Walsh in the spring.
Walsh led the Cowboys to a win over the Ragin’ Cajuns, as well as wins in his starts against Kansas and Iowa State. His first career start against Texas was a last-minute loss in shootout fashion.
John Walsh said he was surprised his son came out for the second half against Iowa State.
“When he got hurt so early and the way he was hobbling around, I didn’t think he’d come out after half,” John Walsh said. “Just to know he had that type of game and led his team with the injury and feeling pain is pretty impressive.”
The redshirt freshman’s toughness also impressed his current head coach.
“I can only say that it was a pretty amazing performance,” OSU head coach Mike Gundy told local media in his weekly teleconference on Sunday. “I would hate to use that term for a guy or a player on my team that’s only a freshman, but for him to finish the game the way he did and run the football and never say a word was really a terrific performance.”
After the win, in his postgame press conference, Walsh told a reporter he felt “100 percent healthy.”
In nearly four entire games, Walsh completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 1,467 yards, 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 254 yards and three touchdowns. He currently sits at No. 14 nationally in quarterback efficiency with a mark of 163.78.
John Walsh said when his son does return, he doesn’t expect a quarterback controversy, but did say he believes J.W. Walsh earned some regular playing time during his relief appearance for Lunt.
“I’m closer to the quarterback situation than the average fan, and I think it’s more of an outside issue than internally,” Walsh said of any quarterback controversy chatter. “They’re both good quarterbacks and they both work hard. All J.W. did was prove he deserves some playing time along with Wes if they’re both healthy.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .