This play may have changed the course of the Cowboys' season...
On the tackle, the defender landed on Walsh's lower right leg, resulting in some type of ankle or foot injury. Walsh would finish the drive (one more play), but that would be the end of his day.
How had the offense performed up to that point?
18 plays, 77 total yards (4.3 ypp) and 10 points. Walsh was 5-9 for 30 yards. That's 6 ypc and 3.3 ypa for those of you keeping track. Zero balls thrown down the field. He did NOT look good throwing the ball up to this point.
Then comes the world's favorite backup. How would the offense respond to finish the 1st half?
24 plays, 217 yds (9.0 ypp) and 17 points. Daxx Garman would go 7-12 to finish the half for 173 yds and a TD. That's 24.7 ypc and 14.4 ypa. Four completions DOWN THE FIELD, one for an 87 yard TD, which you will see below.
This wasn't mop up time. It was a critical time with the ones. Missouri State trailed 10-6.
After a hand off and a flat pass to Glidden that went nowhere, Garman introduced us to the arm only legend had spoken of:
I'm pretty sure I saw Bigfoot.
What a difference watching a QB who was designed to throw the ball.
The drive would not result in points, as Grogan would miss another FG, but there was hope. Garman's next series would involve just one throw, another flat pass to Glidden that resulted in some YAC for a 21 yard gain. Four rushes later OSU would score.
On the next offensive possession, A Glidden jet sweep and a sack had the Cowboys in 3rd and 19 on their own 13 yard line. What happened next will live a long life this season....
Big boy throw folks. BIG. BOY. THROW.
Garman would come back on the next series with this toss...
At this point, I was fully expecting a unicorn to show up on the sideline.
There are other issues that need to be addressed, and I'm sure they are working on them.
The offensive line is still working things out. They honestly looked better against FSU. How is that?
With first and goal right before halftime, OSU couldn't punch it in on three straight off tackle handoffs. Garman was sacked twice, and had to move around a lot as the Bears brought plenty of blitzes that the Cowboys struggled to pick up. Just snapping the ball successfully has become a mystery, as Walsh and Garman both had to corral a number of stray deliveries.
The wide receivers don't block worth a crap on those quick flat passes. Glidden made a nice move to pick up 21 yards, Samples used all of his talent to escape for about 7 yards, and the rest of them (too many to recall) were essentially stuffed.
Defensively, anything past the front 4 is an adventure. We saw it against Florida State. We saw it again this week. They're fast and close well, but they're gonna have some whiffs.
Ben Grogan once again struggled hooking everything. He ended up 4/6, but his long was 37 and he was the recipient of several short gifts courtesy of stalled drives in the red zone.
Kip Smith only had to punt once, but it was a monumental shank of 18 yards.
Nobody is going to kick/punt to Tyreek Hill EVER AGAIN.
Brandon Sheperd has quietly become the big play threat in the passing game.
But those items all wither in the shadow of Walsh vs Garman.
The offense most definitely operates differently when a QB with an arm is in charge. In 2014, Walsh has thrown the ball down the field, what, maybe 4 times? Five? And I don't recall any of them being completions.
Garman completed 4 throws down the field in a quarter and a half for 155 yards and a TD. He looked composed and confident, moved well, and was not easily dragged down, showing some physical strength. He ended up completing almost 62% of his passes.
So, while not saying Daxx is a world-beater, I would have you contemplate this...
Compare the offense with Zac Robinson or JW Walsh to the offense with Weeden/Chelf/Garman.
I'm choosing the latter.
I've said this before...Chelf was not more accurate than Walsh, but he could put the ball in places that Walsh couldn't. Defenses had to respect the ENTIRE field.
Walsh doesn't torch Baylor like Chelf did.
Daxx is going to throw some interceptions. He hasn't played since his junior year in HS. But the only way to knock off the rust is to play.
I love JW, and I know this was Missouri State, but I'm rolling with Garman.
Gundy on the other hand...
Wow. RT @Kieran_Steckley: Gundy said JW Walsh is the starter if healthy #okstate— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) September 6, 2014
Yea, that's definitely my reaction. The big qualifier there, however, is "healthy." You have a run first QB who now has a bad wheel. So bad that he was on crutches and in a boot. So, essentially, his ability to run is now the equivalent of his ability to throw. That's not "healthy."
Oklahoma State came into this season with low expectations, picked anywhere from 3rd to 7th in preseason conference rankings. How does playing an inexperienced throwing QB diminish those expectations? Gundy has worked hard recruiting a lot of talented wide receivers, but yet we run an offense that doesn't exploit them? We have one of the fastest college football players in the country, yet we have an offense that doesn't open up the field to create space? Look at the quarterbacks OSU is recruiting.
Mason Rudolph is a thrower.
John Kolar is a thrower.
So while the hell isn't the offense being driven by someone who can throw the ball effectively? Again, this was Missouri State, but both Walsh and Garman played with our ones against their ones. Who looked better in the pocket?
Walsh is the perfect backup. Hard worker, composed leader, who can take the reigns if the starter goes down and still get your team to a win. Rudolph can redshirt.
But this offense needs a thrower, and UTSA is coming. I said back in June that this upcoming game would be key for the Cowboys in 2014. The Roadrunners are going to give OSU all they can handle, so prepare yourselves. UTSA almost picked off Arizona. They will definitely give Gundy and Company their best shot, and this game is not a lock by any means. They are a team full of well coached, senior athletes.
We've seen it before. Gundy has chosen to stay with the wrong QB because "it gives us the best chance to win." I have no problem with OSU going with Walsh against FSU. That was NOT the stage for Garman to make his debut.
But now? His feet are wet, and he'll have a couple of days taking almost all the snaps with the ones. Walsh isn't playing this week, I don't care what kind of bullshit Gundy shuffles out there at the Monday presser. Garman will have his first start next Saturday, and I can promise UTSA will be preparing for a QB that can throw the ball.
Let's fire up the comments section, cuz the QB controversy is now at Defcon 1.