Garman's road leads to starting job at Oklahoma St

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman hadn't played a game since 2009. Now, he starts for a Top 25 team.

J.W. Walsh went down with a right foot injury Sept. 7 against Missouri State, and Garman stepped in to help the Cowboys earn their first win of the season. He started the next game and passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns in a win over UTSA last Saturday.

He'll start again for 25th-ranked Oklahoma State next Thursday in the conference opener against Texas Tech. Coach Mike Gundy said Garman already is getting comfortable.

''He throws the deep ball pretty well,'' Gundy said. ''His accuracy seems to be improving. I think he gets a better feel for our offense every day being out there with the first team.''

Garman didn't play his senior year of high school in 2010 because of a transfer issue. He went to Arizona and redshirted in 2011, then transferred to Oklahoma State and ran the scout team in 2012. He didn't play last year, either, and entered this season as a 21-year-old backup.

''I've not seen many players who have gone through a timetable like Daxx has, especially in college,'' Gundy said. ''I'm guessing that he's adjusting on the run. It's unique. It seems to be a little different. But he's doing fine.''

Gundy said Walsh would be ''out at least the next few weeks,'' and added that he ''could very well come back at the end of the year.''

''Whether he comes back - they all recover different,'' Gundy said. ''Some guys have a little more of a threshold for pain. These foot injuries that these players get, it's really hard to determine the length of the recovery.''

For now, it's Garman's show. The 6-foot-2 junior completed 16 of 26 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns against Missouri State, then connected on 16 of 30 passes against UTSA.

''I know I've got guys around me who I can trust so I know I'll be able to rely on them once we start playing some teams from the Big 12,'' Garman said after the win.

Garman has a big arm, but he doesn't always use it. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said in a few situations last week, Garman looked deep, but the defense took his receivers away. Instead of forcing the ball, he ran and avoided a mistake.

''He understands ball security,'' Yurcich said. ''That's what that tells us, and that's a really, really important thing to have as a quarterback, that quality. Hopefully, he can continue on that path to take care of the football. If he can continue to do that, we're going to have our share of success.''

The disadvantage to having such an inexperienced quarterback is that it limits the wrinkles Oklahoma State can throw at an opponent.

''We don't really have the luxury of opening up the playbook,'' Gundy said. ''You have a quarterback that's played in two games in his career. And we have three young offensive linemen. And teams that we compete against know that. We're going to try to accomplish just a few things and get better at it each week.''

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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