OKLAHOMA STATE quarterback J.W. Wash set career-high marks in last week's win against Iowa State by going 32-for-47 for 415 yards. He set a school freshman record with his third 300-yard passing game in the 31-10 win and did it playing about 70 snaps with a knee injury that will keep him out the rest of the season.
Walsh had surged in recent weeks after starter Wes Lunt, a true freshman, was injured in the third game of the season. He hasn't played since while Walsh had thrown and run his way to No. 14 in pass efficiency and No. 23 in total offense.
Coach Mike Gundy said Lunt has practiced the past few weeks and that he and junior Clint Chelf, who he said is more like Walsh than is Lunt, will split snaps in practice before the Cowboys (4-2, 2-1) play TCU (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday.
"We have enough reps in practice for the two guys because we move so fast that Clint and Wes will both get reps and at the end of the week, we'll look at where we're at as a team and see how we feel about how those guys are performing and decide who plays Saturday," Gundy said.
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THE MOUNTAINEERS (5-2, 2-2) get to take a breath after playing four straight weeks in the Big 12. In their debut season, they survived a 70-63 win at home against Baylor and a 48-45 thriller at Texas before they were crushed in back-to-back games against Texas Tech and Kansas State by a combined 104-14.
"I'm pretty familiar with the Big 12 and I knew what we were getting ourselves into, but I think it's going to take a whole season for everyone around here to understand it," Coach Dana Holgorsen said.
Perhaps, but the Big 12 is even surprising those who have been inside it longer than Holgorsen, the second-year coach who spent nine years as an assistant at Texas Tech (2000-07) and Oklahoma State (2010).
"This is by far the deepest the league has been with quality teams since we've been here," said Texas Coach Mack Brown, who is in his 15th season with the Longhorns.
Five Big 12 teams are in the BCS standings, second to only the SEC, and nine of the 10 teams have been ranked at least once in the other two polls this season. A list of the 25 hardest schedules contains eight Big 12 teams and the conference has only three non-conference losses with Oklahoma-Notre Dame being the last non-conference game this season.
Five of the country's top 17 teams in total offense and seven of the top 13 in scoring offense are in the Big 12, but four of the top 23 are also members of the league renowned for its offense.
"It did not surprise me West Virginia left here and went to Lubbock and got beat," Brown said. "I've been to Lubbock and it's a very, very difficult place to play. It didn't surprise me to see Kansas State do so well against West Virginia. Bill has a great football team that's doing very well.
"It's a fun league to be in right now. Fans see great games. People who like to see scoring are going to see a lot of scoring in this league. The thing everyone wants to do is fire their defensive coordinator, but everyone's got a quarterback that can move the ball."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.