By Andrew Glover
Throughout the season, Oklahoma State University coach Mike Gundy has discussed his team struggling in short yardage situations. Saturday against Texas Tech, Gundy found his answer.
The staff created a package for redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh, called J-Dub by teammates, rushed, threw and handed off for touchdowns in a 59-21 victory — hence the Dubtruck formation was born.
“(Walsh) gave us an edge on short-yardage and goal line. We’ve not been very good on short-yardage and goal line here for three years” Gundy said. “So we’re trying to work through it and find ways to become a better short-yardage/goal line team in our system and he allowed us to improve by his running ability.”
Walsh was thought to be out for the season after suffering a knee injury against Iowa State, but showed the crowd of over 55,000 he was perfectly fine with a four-yard run for a first down. On second-and-goal from the two, Walsh completed a pass to Kye Staley for Oklahoma State’s first touchdown. The redshirt freshman said it was nice to be back on the field after missing the last three games.
“It felt amazing to get out there for a little bit and contribute to the team,” Walsh said. “It’s fun to play the game. Any chance I get, even if it’s just to hand the ball off it’s still fun to get out there any way I can.”
Gundy said Walsh showed him and the staff he could play during last Wednesday’s practice.
“He ran really well Wednes-day in practice,” Gundy said. “At that point we felt comfortable with him being able to play at a high level with speed and being able to take a hit.”
In the second quarter, Walsh ran for a touchdown to up the Cowboys’ lead to 27-7. Walsh handed off to Joseph Randle for a touchdown in the third quarter. The redshirt freshman quarterback said the coaches had a great game plan.
“We just came out and executed and got the job done,” Walsh said. “All that is a testament to the coaches, who kept us focused.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he would have to look at the game film to see how effective the formation was but thought the offensive line and running backs played well“I thought our line came off the ball well and our running backs ran really hard,” Monken said. “That was a big part of it. Obviously J-Dub’s ability to run and throw is a big advantage. He’s a good football player and you try to find ways to put him on the football field.”
OSU scored eight touchdowns to just one field goal and only had four drives where it didn’t score. The Cowboys were 4 for 4 in scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Monken said it wasn’t just the offense that led to that production but a collective team effort.
“It is a credit to our defense and our special teams,” Monken said. “We had the ball in great field position and got a score from our special teams. They set up another score. We got a couple of turnovers. All of those things play into, what really matters, which is points.”
Walsh said he is excited about getting to play in his first Bedlam game against Oklahoma.
“It’s always a big game for us,” Walsh said. “I’m excited and really focused on the game plan this week.”
The Sooners use their backup quarterback Blake Bell in a short yardage formation called the Belldozer. Walsh wasn’t exactly ready to take the title of being OSU’s version.
“I’m just going to do whatever the coaches tell me to do,” Walsh said. “Execute the plays that are called. If I’m in those situations, so be it. I’m going to keep executing.”.