It was a different Clint Chelf.
The Oklahoma State quarterback was outstanding in the Cowboys’ 52-34 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday. Chelf was 18-of-34 passing for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and he added six carries for 88 yards and two additional scores. His strong performance earned him ESPN.com Big 12 player of the week honors.
For the first time in 2013, the Oklahoma State quarterback looked like the guy who finished last season as the Cowboys’ main quarterback and went 3-2 as the starter in OSU's final five games. His 93.4 adjusted QBR ranked No. 7 nationally. It was his first QBR rating above 50 this season. (QBR is an ESPN rating with a scale of 0-100, with 50 being average.)
“He was much better tonight than he was in Iowa,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said, referring to Chelf's first conference start in Oklahoma State's 58-27 victory over Iowa State on Oct. 26. “You have a glaring mistake when you throw it to the other team and they run it in for a touchdown. [But] for the most part, he made some big plays; he made some throws.”
The senior showed his experience by remaining unfazed by his two interceptions, even though one of his mistakes helped the Red Raiders get back into the game after Pete Robertson's interception return for a touchdown.
“He threw two picks today, and you didn't see him get stressed out,” running back Desmond Roland said. “He just told us to keep pushing and I think he made up for it.”
And his running ability, by far the most overlooked part of his game, was readily apparent on his 67-yard touchdown run when he showed good speed and slashing ability as he split the Red Raiders defense on a quarterback draw play on third-and-9.
“He continues to run the ball effectively,” Gundy said. “And [it] helps our football team when he's running the ball.”
Quite simply, in the biggest game of the season for the Cowboys, Chelf played his best game of the season to lead his team to a road victory.
“Clint did a great job,” linebacker Caleb Lavey said. “He's one of those players that accepts the challenge.”