Jeopardy: Alex, Give Me OSU Quarterbacks

It's Alex Trebek time as we roll into a game of Cowboys Football Jeopardy. "Contestants, here are your Jeopardy categories," Trebek announces. "We have famous kickers, Lookabaugh era, Barry Sanders records, Jones or Johnson, and current quarterbacks. Pete, you're up first."

"Alex, I'll take current quarterbacks for 200, please," Pete replies.

"Mike Gundy says he will be ready to play 10-to-12 plays against Florida State," Trebek asks. "Who is Daxx Garman?" Pete answers.

"Pick again," Trebek continues.

"Current quarterbacks for 400, please," Pete says.

"He was the hero of the Carolinas Shrine Bowl throwing the winning touchdown with just seconds left in the game to lead South Carolina over North Carolina," Trebek clues. "Who is Mason Rudolph?" answers Pete.

"You're on a roll, go again," Trebek says.

"Back to current quarterbacks for 600," Pete barks.

"He beat Iowa State on homecoming as a freshman playing with a cracked kneecap," Trebek says. "Who is J.W. Walsh?" Pete blurts out.

It's that easy or is it?

After Tuesday's practice head coach Mike Gundy told a group of media with cameras, microphones, and notepads that they were readying Daxx Garman to play 10 to 12 plays against Florida State in the opener.

Based on that, I think it is easy to presume that Garman is not the Cowboys starter at this point. My guess is the starter will be prepared to play more plays than 10 to 12.

Tuesday night at the Cowboys Caravan in Oklahoma City with The Oklahoman reporters sitting in the audience anxiously awaiting a nugget that would make for morning sports page gold, Gundy delivered with his, "We have ourselves a heckuva quarterback competition." That's a quote being worth the time spent watching 300 or so people dressed in orange get fired up.

What do we make of all the quarterback talk? Is there any way to cut through the clutter and have a decent idea of what is exactly going on behind closed doors at practice? I'm sorry, I get to cheat and see what is going on but I will tell you this, I think Gundy was telling the truth in both circumstances on Tuesday. The whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Maybe not.

Here is my take on the quarterback clutter. The media was there in the spring for a full-scale scrimmage and what they saw was J.W. Walsh take all the first team snaps. I remember the day well because it was also a launching pad for speedster offensive weapon Tyreek Hill.

Daxx Graman and Mason Rudolph both took snaps with the second and third offensive units. When the Orange Blitz rolled around a few weeks later there was Walsh still taking the first team reps, and while Garman was a little gimpy with a sprained knee sitting out, Rudolph took the other reps. The summer hasn't changed things.

Are Gundy and his staff preparing Garman to play some against Florida State? The answer is yes! I hope they are preparing him and Rudolph to play the entire game if needed.

J.W. Walsh is a talented quarterback, effective leader, and a quarterback that can run. To be his most effective the defense has to know and feel that threat that the Denton Guyer product will pull the ball down and make an aggressive pass rush pay for getting to far up field.

When a quarterback runs you hope he gains plenty of yards and then slides, runs out of bounds, or at the least protects himself from a big hit by a defender. The risk is he could get hurt and lose a play or two, a series, or maybe the rest of the game. The other two quarterbacks need to be prepared.

Do the Cowboys have a heckuva quarterback competition or battle going on? Again, I think the answer is yes! I don't think it is the battle to start, but maybe, the battle to be first up behind Walsh.

Walsh is not just talented but he is 6-2 as a starter and 4-2 in the Big 12. He is 2-0 as a long reliever coming in early in the Louisiana-Lafayette game as a redshirt freshman and in the third series last season in the opener against Mississippi State. That's a solid resume, and Garman and Rudolph have neither started a college football game.

In one of the most repeated stats of the preseason, Garman hasn't played in a real football game since his junior year in high school at Jones, Oklahoma. Not exactly the ideal situation to start the first college game against the defending national champions and top-ranked team in the preseason, huh?

I think Gundy is telling the truth. I think he is also causing a few media members that he might not mind dealing with a little consternation.

Is trying to cause a little uncertainty for Florida State? Well, I don't think that will happen. I'm pretty sure that the Seminoles aren't real worried about who will quarterback for Oklahoma State. They are just preparing to put him on his back. That may be another reason the more run talented Walsh is taking those first team snaps. That is, again, if nothing has changed since the spring.


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