September 19, 2013

Where does OSU QB JW Walsh rank among other Big 12 quarterbacks?

On the third possession of the game against Mississippi State, J.W. Walsh strapped on his helmet and knew what he had to do.

At the beginning of the game, Clint Chelf was at the quarterback position. He played a mere two possessions before he was benched in favor of Walsh, and the sophomore dual-threat has been the starter ever since.

He ripped the Bulldogs apart with his feet on zone-reads and quarterback draws, he torched UTSA through the air with his arm, and he simply won against Lamar on Saturday.

His performance through the air two weeks ago was enough to get him into the preliminary Heisman discussion for the week, but that's since died off a bit after Lamar.

It's more of the same around the conference, as plenty of first-year quarterbacks are trying to prove themselves up and down I-35.

Where does Walsh stack up against them? Let's find out.

The first stat I like to look at is average yards passing per game. Walsh could have a much higher percentage had he played any part of the second half against UTSA, but it's still good for fifth in the conference.

Passing average per game
1. Baker Mayfield (TTU): 332.0 ypg
2. Bryce Petty (BU): 325.0 ypg
3. Sam Richardsion (ISU): 251.0 ypg
4. Jake Waters (KSU): 224.3 ypg
5. J.W. Walsh (OSU): 214.0 ypg
6. David Ash (UT): 198.0 ypg

The next is efficiency. This is usually something that Walsh excels in. He would've been in the Top 5 in passer rating last season had he qualified, and he's usually good on decision-making and completions. However, he's only the 7th-best in the conference, even behind backup Chelf. I've removed Chelf and Baylor backup Seth Russell (Who leads the conference on only 13 attempts), but it still isn't great for Walsh right now.

Pass Efficiency
1. Petty: 249.5
2. Blake Bell (OU): 188.6 - After one game
3. Ash: 168.9
4. Waters: 153.9
5. Walsh: 151.7

Walsh gets his footing back when you analyze total offense. His blend of rushing and passing gives him a huge boost and allows him to get a ton of yardage against any defense, especially when he and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich are in sync.

Total yards per game
1. Mayfield: 362.7 yards
2. Petty: 330.5
3. Richardson: 294.5
4. Walsh: 274.7
5. Waters: 253.7

The numbers might not be ideal for the gun-slinging quarterback Oklahoma State likes to have, but the fact of the matter is that Walsh is getting it done, and has his squad at 22nd in the nation in passing yards per game and 65th in rushing yards per game. On top of that, his offense is the 15th-ranked scoring offense in the nation.

That's something to be happy about if you're an Oklahoma State fan.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to trying to figure out how exactly he does it.

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