Walsh starts to lead Oklahoma State past UTSA

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — New starter J.W. Walsh completed his first 10 passes, finished 24-of-27 for 326 yards and four touchdown throws as No. 13 Oklahoma State beat UTSA 56-35 on Saturday.

It’s the fourth start for the sophomore Walsh, his first this season after a quick relief performance for Clint Chelf last week. With his speedy start against a Roadrunners team entering its third season of football, Walsh led the Cowboys (2-0) to touchdowns on five of six first-half possessions.

UTSA (1-1) tied the score 7-7 when Kenny Bias scored on a 6-yard run with 4:22 left in the first quarter. But Walsh scored from 4 yards out in the second quarter and the Cowboys led 35-7 at halftime.

Walsh left with six minutes left in the third and the Cowboys up 42-7.

Eric Soza threw three TDs in the fourth quarter and finished 24 of 41 for 308 yards, with three interceptions.

One play following a 62-yard punt return by Kenny Harrison that put the ball on the Cowboys 19, Soza lofted a scoring pass to Bias that cut the deficit to three touchdowns with 12 minutes to go.

The Cowboys went up 49-21 on Chelf’s lone TD pass, a 33-yard TD pass to Charlie Moore with 10 minutes remaining. Chelf finished 11-of-16 for 192 yards and a pair of TDs.

Soza and Bias connected again on a 67-yard passing TD that brought back UTSA to a 21-point deficit, but Chelf threw a 21-yard scoring pass to backup running back Desmond Roland as the Cowboys cracked the 50-point barrier with 5 minutes to go.

The Roadrunners rallied from a two-touchdown deficit last week to win on the road at New Mexico. UTSA now is 13-11 all-time under former national champion coach Larry Coker.

In Oklahoma State’s opening victory against Mississippi State, Chelf started and Walsh relieved. Coach Mike Gundy had promised to use both of his quarterbacks in the opener, but Walsh was clearly more effective.

On Saturday, with Walsh running OSU’s hurry-up offense, the Cowboys were all but unstoppable for UTSA. Walsh’s 10-yard pass to Josh Stewart made it 21-7 three and a half minutes into the second quarter.

Walsh came up with his rushing TD less than seven minutes later and ended the first-half scoring four plays after the Cowboys’ Ryan Simmons intercepted Soza and returned it 27 yards to the Roadrunners’ 32. Running back Jeremy Smith got the call and ran in from a yard out with less than a minute before halftime.