Monken Begins Preparing Another QB

The defense is starting to get healthier and we saw some of the signs of that last week. But over on offense the injuries just seem to continue to pile up on coordinator Todd Monken. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy says Monken has a big responsibility of factoring in who can play when he comes up with a game plan early in the week to prepare for Saturday.

Everybody knows that Oklahoma State will sport a different quarterback on Saturday when the Cowboys host TCU. They will also be without a player that before Saturday had not been all that noticeable but tight end Justin Horton came up big with two catches for 58 yards against Iowa State, and his 34-yard catch was really an offensive igniter in the game.

"You feel for the young men," said Monken. "It's frustrating, but it's part of it. Everybody is banged up, but you just hope that it's in the spots where you have some depth.

"Last year we were lucky enough to have depth. We lost players last year. Jonathan Rush went down but we had other guys. Hubert Anyiam went down but we had other guys. We're not as deep now, but that's the way it is.

"Everyone has their problems, but no one really cares. It's frustrating, but that's why we're paid - to figure it out - and that's what we're going to try to do."

The most important step this week will be figuring out who will quarterback. Gundy said there are enough practice reps to take a strong look at two quarterbacks -- Wes Lunt and Clint Chelf.

Lunt started the season and was very impressive before the injury he suffered on the sixth play of The Opening drive against Louisiana on Sept. 15. The reports are that Lunt is ready, and that would make sense.

"Well, last week was Wes Lunt's first full week of working with us," Monken explained. "We'll evaluate it and look at Clint and Wes. We worked our offense into using more of an athletic quarterback, so we have to decide if we are going to continue in that direction, or is Wes going to be ready throw the football and give us a chance to win?"

Monken is playing a little coy now. No doubt, OSU's coaches have been warned about talking about injuries and how they will be compensated for by Gundy. Monken suggested he has confidence in both quarterbacks.

"I said in the spring that we have three guys who are pretty good players. I thought they all played well in the spring," Monken said. "The margin wasn't extreme between them - there wasn't a cavernous gap.

"We just had made decisions on where we thought they were then, and where they could improve. A lot of times you go with the younger guys because they have such a gap where they can improve. I'm confident that we can win with either guy, just like I was confident when it was J.W Walsh."

Monken is forced to make a lot changes with a new quarterback. One of those areas that changes is red zone and goal-line offense.

"What makes it harder is when you transition from one quarterback to another," Monken explained. "Let's say we go to Arizona and you have a throwing quarterback. We ran the same play the other day, the third drive, the one where we kicked the field goal. Wes hit it (Tracy Moore) and J.W. didn't. That corner pylon route to Tracy and then the other day to Charlie (Moore). There is just a difference.

"You game plan that and the loss of players figures into it as well," Monken continued. "We need to be better there at scoring touchdowns."

They will need to be better on Saturday because TCU, despite its loss to Iowa State earlier this season, appears to be the better team on video.

GoPokes Top Stories