OSU Spring Finale Notebook

The OSU defensive line has gotten a lot of love this spring for its performance on a daily basis on the practice field. Saturday afternoon in Stillwater fans got a taste of what all the fuss was about.

The pressure was coming from all angles with an added push from the interior of the line resulting in eight combined sacks for a loss of 51 yards. The Orange team got three of those sacks coming from DE Tyler Johnson, LB Ryan Simmons and DT Christian Littlehead. The Gray team recorded five with DE Jimmy Bean, LB Joe Mitchell, DT Anthony Rogers, DE Ryan Robinson and DE Cooper Bassett all getting in the mix. There were also 15 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries. The defensive line was a huge reason for the confusion and havoc the defense was able to inflict as a unit on both teams.

OSU's linemen also tipped five passes at the line of scrimmage with active hands and good awareness.

Spotty punt returns

Despite facing no coverage on punts with no possibility of returns, catching them proved more difficult than normal on Saturday.

Sophomore receiver Josh Stewart bobbled or dropped three uncontested punts and made questionable decisions on two others. Cornerback Justin Gilbert also muffed a punt. Stewart cleanly caught one in the in the second half, drawing sarcastic applause from the crowd. Stewart playfully raised his arms in a mock celebration.

Coach Gundy addressed Stewart's struggles after the scrimmage.

"He has the ability to make people miss, but he won't return any if he does that," Gundy said. "He'll get his fair shot in August but otherwise we won't put a guy back there that can't catch one."

Gundy said receiver David Glidden is the favorite to return punts once he recovers from a high ankle sprain that kept him out of Saturday's action.

It wasn't all bad for Stewart, who had an excellent spring overall. The sophomore hauled in six receptions for 70 yards in the scrimmage.

Quarterback Carousel

If anyone was looking for someone to distance himself in the quarterback battle, it didn't happen on Saturday. At least not from a production standpoint.

Junior Clint Chelf completed 18-of-31 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh went 16-for-27 for 310 yards with a pair of scores. True freshman Wes Lunt was 15-for-23 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, as well. There were no interceptions thrown on the day.

Gundy said he has his own idea of who he thinks is the best fit but will meet with the rest of the offensive staff to hear their opinions on Wednesday, hopefully with the meeting ending with a starter being named.

"I thought each quarterback at times showed signs of being good enough to start next year, and I saw at times some deficiencies with each one of them," Gundy said. "... We'd like to name a quarterback this upcoming week, and that way we can move forward and know who our leader is in the summer. I think that's best for the team."

Odd scoring system

The Orange team stormed out to a 24-0 lead at halftime and had to be feeling pretty good before coach Gundy pulled a switch on them. When the third quarter started, the scores were reversed and the Orange had to try to fight back from a 24-0 deficit instead.

The Orange did outscore the Gray 21-7 in the second half but fell 31-21. If it had not been for a continuous clock in the second, the comeback might have been even closer.


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