Woodward, Okla. —
By Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service
SAN ANTONIO — A week after relying on J.W. Walsh’s legs in the season opener, the Oklahoma State football team turned to his arm.
And just like in the victory over Mississippi State, Walsh delivered as the Cowboys rolled to a 56-35 blowout of UTSA at the Alamodome.
In just over a half of work — playing in only the first drive of the second half due to the lopsided affair — the OSU redshirt sophomore completed 24 of 27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns. The Roadrunners (1-1) did hold Walsh’s legs in check, as he had just five carries for 13 yards with a four-yard touchdown.
“We had a lot of stuff going for us today. With running that uptempo stuff and the defense is having trouble keeping up, a lot of things are going to work for you,” said Walsh, who actually played at the Alamodome in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl his senior year of high school. “When we’re moving fast like that, good things will happen for us.”
The 88.9 completion percentage by Walsh broke Brandon Weeden’s OSU record for completion percentage — which was previously 85.7 against Kansas in 2011.
“He did a lot more here than I’ve ever done, some I’m not going to give him a hard time, yet,” Walsh said. “Can’t say anything to him yet ... got a long way to go.”
For the second straight week the Cowboy defense held the opposing offense in check — that is until the backups came in.
After giving up a game-tying touchdown late in the first quarter, Oklahoma State (2-0) kept the Roadrunners out of the end zone until UTSA scored again within the first minute of the fourth quarter — to make it 42-14.
The Roadrunners had their chances to move the ball down the field, wracking up 504 yards of offense on 82 plays. But OSU’s top defense forced UTSA into four punts with the Roadrunners going 2 for 4 in the red zone through the first three quarters.
“That’s a good team — that shows on field — with a quarterback that can operate and good skill players. We had a solid outing,” OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. “They got us on the ground which is what I was afraid would happen on the perimeter game with the jet sweeps and the option game.”
The second touchdown for the Roadrunners in the fourth was set up by a 69-yard punt return by UTSA’s Kenny Harrison that put the ball at OSU’s 19-yard line. UTSA quarterback Eric Soza hooked up with wide receiver Kenny Bias on the first play of the drive to make it 42-21 with 12:15 left in the contest.
Oklahoma State’s second-team defense hurt the final line, giving up a 67-yard touchdown on a wide open connection between Soza and Bias. UTSA’s backup quarterback Tucker Carter also put a score on the board for the Roadrunners with a 15-yard touchdown to Aaron Grubb in the final minutes of the game.
“We subbed out the second drive of the third — wholesale changed it. If they are in the game, they are expected to perform,” Spencer said. “This proves that we have to improve our depth. Those young guys who were in there in the third and the fourth quarterback have got to perform just like anybody else. We’ll have to count on those guys some day down the road.”
Oklahoma State’s defense also recorded two takeaways with an interception by middle linebacker Shaun Lewis and another by outside linebacker Ryan Simmons — which came just before halftime and led to OSU’s fifth touchdown of the half.
“I was just there at the perfect time. It happened so fast that I didn’t know the ball was coming,” said Simmons, who is from the Cibolo, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio. “I was just sitting there looking. I was just in the right position.”
OSU’s backup quarterback Clint Chelf responded following UTSA’s two touchdowns in the first three minutes of the fourth, throwing for 77 yards on a 73-yard drive — capped with a touchdown to a wide open Charlie Moore from 33 yards out. By game’s end, Chelf went 11 for 16 with 192 yards and two touchdowns — his second coming on a 21-yard screen pass to running back Desmond Roland.
Jason Elmquist is the sports editor of the Stillwater NewsPress