STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Last year’s game against UTSA seemed to establish Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh as an up-and-coming star.
And one year later, he may not even play in the matchup because of an injury.
After sustaining an injury that left him on crutches and his right foot in a boot during last Saturday’s 40-23 victory over Missouri State, Oklahoma State (1-1) might have to turn to junior backup Daxx Garman when they host UTSA (1-1).
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Garman excelled in his first game action since his junior year of high school in 2009, coming in for Walsh late in the first quarter and completing 16 of 26 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns.
The yardage and completion totals set school records for an Oklahoma State quarterback debut, surpassing current coach Mike Gundy’s 163 yards back in 1986 and Walsh’s 13 completions in 2012.
According to Gundy, Walsh’s status would be determined by Wednesday morning.
”He’s being evaluated (Monday) afternoon, unlike some of the speculation (on the Internet) where he’s already being diagnosed with certain injuries,” Gundy said.
”The plan is to take his boot off and see where he’s at on Tuesday. I do know that it’s not as severe as originally thought. So that’s good news. To what extent, we don’t know, so we’ll just move forward from there.”
Before leaving the Missouri State game, Walsh gained 42 yards on four rushes and completed 5 of 9 passes for 30 yards. Gundy indicated that he would likely know on Wednesday whether Walsh would be available to play a big role against UTSA.
His evaluation will also determine which QB gets the majority of repetitions in practice the rest of the week.
”We need to get J.W. out of the boot on Tuesday and find out where he’s at,” Gundy said. ”And after that, prior to Wednesday’s practice, we need to make a decision, unless we think that he has an injury that will improve over a short period of time.”
In the event that Walsh isn’t ready, Gundy admitted that the offensive game plan would be slightly tweaked to better conform to Garman’s skill set. He’s not quite the running threat that Walsh is, but he excels at making pinpoint, strongly thrown balls to the receivers.
”He brings a little bit different style of offense to our team,” Gundy said. ”There is some difference in the game plan that we would use with him if J.W. is not in the game, so we’d make that adjustment and go on.
”We’ve done that before. We’ll see how he plays in crucial situations, and whether he’s in there full time or part time, depending on the health of J.W., but the more reps he gets throughout the season, he should improve.”
Garman was ruled ineligible for his senior year of high school before attending the University of Arizona, where he red-shirted in 2011.
After transferring to OSU, he had to sit out the 2012 season before serving as a depth backup last year, but he showed few signs of rust.
And while the Cowboys’ coaching staff was relatively happy with Garman’s decision-making during the game, everyone seemed impressed with his ability to remain calm.
”There’s a couple of things that you’d like to have back that were simple mistakes, but other than that, I thought he did pretty good,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said.
”You have to give him a lot of credit for being into it, taking all those mental reps in the meetings, knowing he was in a backup role and still staying focused. There’s a lot of things that go into it and Daxx did a really good job of maintaining an even-keel demeanor.”