One (Unnoticed) Play May Change The Season

Can anyone explain what happened? Where and when did J.W. Walsh get hurt and the Cowboys season took a detour at quarterback. It actually happened on a second-and-nine snap at the Missouri State 10-yard line, three plays before Rennie Childs scored the first OSU touchdown of the day in the Cowboys 40-23 somewhat lackluster win over Missouri State.

Walsh kept on a zone read going to the right side and as he went to the ground Missouri State linebacker Andrew Beisel rolled over his right foot and ankle. Walsh popped up and was hopping like the new Boone Pickens Stadium turf was a July blacktop parking lot and he was barefoot. He stayed in, which is par for the course with Walsh, as he is always the tough guy and leader.

In fact, if the left side of the offensive line and the combination of Jeremy Seaton and Teddy Johnson had not flattened the Missouri State defense on the fourth-and-one play for Childs to walk in for the touchdown it might not have happened. The handoff mesh on the play was awkward because of the Walsh injury.

Enter Daxx Garman, shaking off the rust of almost five years since his last real football action. Cowboys fans, who were robbed of seeing Garman at the Orange Blitz in the spring because of a knee injury, had heard about that rocket arm courtesy of a former Cowboy quarterback with a rocket arm in Brandon Weeden.

Garman admitted to being a little uncomfortable at first. Hey, after five years you should be but it is somewhat like riding a bike and when Garman nailed David Glidden over the middle for a 13-yard gain on his first competitive third down of college action, Garman admits he was comfortable and somewhat off to the races.

What about Walsh? The word is the x-rays weren't conclusive, and the foot injury as it appeared on the top of his right foot was what the Cowboys doctors were concerned with quite possibly has a soft tissue injury.

Have you ever heard how a sprained ankle can actually be worse than some broken ankles. I'm afraid it is the same way with feet. Further examination on Sunday, possibly an MRI and another round of x-rays, will result in a more exact prognosis for Walsh and for Garman, and possibly even Mason Rudolph. You see Rudolph did not play, but depending on the situation is one play away from taking his first college snap.

Gundy apparently wants to redshirt the powerful quarterback from South Carolina. Can he? That is very much up in the air right now.

Back to Walsh, my head keeps going back to former OSU wide receiver Hubert Anyiam, who suffered the same foot injury to both his feet. It was downright sad what Anyiam had to persevere through. The examination on Walsh looked similar, but hopefully, Walsh's situation will be better.

The team adapted against Missouri State, finding ways to operate and get the points needed. However, it will have to get much better. Garman, and Rudolph for that matter, are talented and can hold their own as quarterbacks.

They are different in skill set than Walsh, but the Cowboys have the necessary talent to allow both to achieve at a high level. Even the defense and special teams can help with the change over and adjustments by being better at what it is they do. Missouri State played hard and made it tough at times,

Next week, UTSA doesn't care that the Cowboys lost their starting quarterback and another returning starter. The Roadrunners are the most experienced team in college football and they are not playing like a Conference USA team, but more like a power five conference team.

Mike Gundy said conference play starts next week and in many ways it will. The Cowboys will start it with a gunslinger quarterback that has not seen too many gunfights over the past few years but is sure eager to draw. It's a detour and a crossroads. It will be very interesting.

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