NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said nothing during his weekly press conference on Monday to indicate he wouldn’t start Trevor Knight at quarterback Saturday at No. 6 Oklahoma State.
Knight played well in relief in a 48-10 win over Iowa State and as the starter in a 41-31 win at Kansas State two weeks ago.
Bell, who has started eight games this season for No. 18 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) left the Iowa State game after suffering a concussion and wasn’t available against Kansas State.
Stoops said he assumed Bell would be cleared for action if needed against Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1).
Stoops also said he felt good about how well the Sooners have moved the ball offensively with Knight at quarterback for most of the past two games. Knight entered the Iowa State game in the second quarter and the Sooners closed the game with 45 unanswered points, as he rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown and passed for 61 yards.
Against Kansas State, he rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown and completed 14 of 20 passes for a career-high 171 yards and a touchdown. More important, he looked considerably sharper than he had in two uneven performances to open the season in wins over Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia.
“You can tell he is operating much more at ease and comfortable and I guess he’s evened the pace,” Stoops said of Knight. “. The pace and the timing - there’s something about that with the quarterback, not rushing plays and unfold while you execute.”
Knight started the Sooners’ first two games before suffering a bruised knee. Bell, given an opportunity, earned the starting job with a 413-yard, four-touchdown passing outing in a win over Tulsa and held the position until he was hurt, despite a handful of inconsistent performances.
Stoops acknowledged Monday that the back-and-forth hasn’t helped either Knight or Bell.
“You live with the circumstances that we were dealt,” Stoops said. “They were both dealt injuries that we had to deal with. It’s fair to say in each case, at different times, it makes you adjust offensively. Yes, definitely. One guy may do a little bit better than the other guy and practicing that more and polishing it up more to get the execution that you need, there is some of that with each guy. It has been a challenge to manage it overall.”