Cowboys Are Growing Up

For the second week in a row the Oklahoma State Cowboys fell behind but kept fighting on the way to a resounding victory. Before the game, J.W. Walsh was standing on crutches on the sidelines beside fellow quarterback Wes Lunt. It was the same way that the two were seen on the field on Friday, together with Lunt warming up and Walsh standing next to him and working to fire him up.

I call it a tag team at quarterback this season. Lunt got hurt and tagged Walsh, who did a marvelous job. Now Walsh has tagged back to Lunt.

Lunt took time to lock and load on Saturday against TCU, but once he did he finished 18 of 33 passing for 324 yards and a touchdown and an interception. He will get better, but he had support all the way from Walsh, the player he has competed with for the quarterback job since the day he walked on campus.

Walsh told me that he knew Lunt would do fine. He actually brags on his quarterback teammate.

"He got better as it went on," said head coach Mike Gundy of Lunt. "I think his confidence is good. He's very level headed. He's a very cerebral young man, and I don't think he doubted himself."

If he did, he would have to answer to Walsh.

"I think it's just human nature, and he had to grow into it. He got hit a few times and realized it was going to be okay," added Gundy.

Later, Walsh went from his perch on the sideline training table and used his crutches to go down to the defensive end to congratulate Daytawion Lowe on his interception and return that should have been a touchdown. That shows a lot on Walsh's part.

This team is developing leaders, lots of them. Many of them are some the younger players on the team, and that bodes well for the future, both immediate and long term.

This team cares and they have some fight, evidenced by continuing to come back. The defense is starting to look like the one in the spring that Gundy said would be the best since he became head coach.

They are also getting turnovers as Saturday the Cowboys won that battle with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, a very interesting one where Nigel Nicholas forced the fumble and then after nobody would pick up the ball, he finished celebrating and went over and scooped the ball as no whistle had blown to stop the play, a sure sign that the ball was loose.

The 36-14 victory was strong one, a really good win over a good and talented team that just might be that win you look back on and say that was really good, a tide tuner, at the end of the season.

It's all good, and it is coming at the right time with Lunt rounding back into form and the defense getting more stubborn by the day, leaders emerging, players showing they care for each other, and some teams starting to fall back.

Expect the Cowboys to be back in the Top 25 on Sunday, and expect this team to prepare to challenge Kansas State just like the Wildcats came into Stillwater last season and challenged the Cowboys in the midst of all their success.

It's on to K-State.

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