Just days after the Bedlam loss, Mike Gundy told the Tulsa World that he was "confident" that Mason Rudolph would be the Sugar Bowl starter. Now, Gundy is a lot less certain on the status of Rudolph.
Gundy says if Rudolph healthy, must make a decision on who starts. Says Walsh will play at least half the game.#okstate— John Helsley (@jjhelsley) December 21, 2015
It’s looking like backup quarterback J.W. Walsh is going to play at least half the game, so it makes sense the fifth year senior might also get the nod to start in his final collegiate game. The last time Walsh got the start, well. . . nobody needs to hear that recap. But this won’t be the same Walsh or Oklahoma State this time around. It shouldn't be, at least.
If Walsh gets the start, he won't be coming off a week's worth of preparation. QB2 has been taking all of the first team snaps while Rudolph is recovering, and Oklahoma State won’t be playing near as good of a team.
Yes, Ole Miss beat Alabama, but Texas beat Oklahoma so the better team doesn’t always win for some odd reason. Early in the season, the same day the Pokes beat UTSA, Ole Miss knocked off Alabama in a shootout. The same offense that can put up 43 on Bama is the same offense that put up 10 in a loss to Florida. The Rebels' defense can boast that they shut down Leonard Fournette and held LSU to 17 points, but somehow they gave up 53 points to unranked Arkansas in a home loss. The point is, Ole Miss is no Oklahoma. Give Walsh a month to take the majority of snaps in practice, and he should complement a reduced Rudolph quite nicely.
Even if Rudolph does get the start, who is to say that Walsh won’t take more snaps. Nobody wants Rudolph to do more than he can. At 10-2, the future of the program is in great shape. With a Sugar Bowl win, the program may be looking at all-time highs. Gundy’s conservative tendencies frustrate me sometimes, but a conservative call on Rudolph sounds like the right call. Rudolph and Walsh are both going to get plenty of snaps; it doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback, the Pokes are in good hands.