Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

August 20, 2013

OU could name starting QB this week

NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops realizes he’ll eventually have to choose a starting quarterback. He’s still not quite ready to make that decision.

The first question to Stoops after Monday’s practice — as it has been for most of the last month — was whether he was ready to name a starter between Blake Bell and Trevor Knight. He gave a one-word answer: “Nope.”

No. 16 Oklahoma will open its season Aug. 31 at home against Louisiana-Monroe and Stoops hinted that he might name the starter for that game by Friday, which would end the first all-out battle for the starting quarterback position since Sam Bradford emerged from a three-way competition in 2007.

“I want to have a few more practices,” Stoops said. “Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So, when we’re ready, we’ll say so.”

Bell and Knight have, by all accounts, waged a spirited battle for the job during preseason practice. Bell, a junior, has the edge in playing experience, although most of that came as part of Oklahoma’s “Belldozer” run package last season. Knight redshirted as a freshman last season.

There had been a third man in the competition, sophomore Kendal Thompson, before he suffered a fractured foot on the first day of preseason drills.

Stoops has revealed little about the competition and given no hints about who might be emerging as the starter. He reiterated Monday that he hasn’t even ruled out Thompson again battling for playing time once his injury heals.

“They’re mentally tough guys who work hard, as is Kendall,” Stoops said. “I’m confident Kendal will work his way back into being a guy that we’ll really like as well, once he’s able to get back on the field.”

Stoops’ players hewed to the party line on Monday, saying nothing that offered a hint about which way they think the coaches might be leaning. Starting center Gabe Ikard told reporters “you know as much as I do” when asked about the quarterback situation.

“It’s one of those things where both those guys are battling hard for that job,” Ikard said. “I’m no quarterback coach, I’m no offensive coordinator. I don’t know what they’re looking at so when the decision is made, we’ll roll with it and no matter who it is, we’ll put a good 11 on the field and we’ll be ready to go.”

Ikard did allow that the competition has brought out the best in both Bell and Knight and that “it’s really good to see how they’re pushing one another for that spot.” But Ikard said the offensive linemen won’t change the way they play, no matter who sees the majority of the snaps.

“We’ve got to play the same effort and (with) great technique so we’re not terribly worried about it not being a familiar face back there,” he said. “We just know it’s on us to make that person comfortable so that’s what we’re about.

“We’ll all be relieved and happy for that guy. Whoever doesn’t get the starting job, we know they are a play away from being that guy. Both of those guys continue to work hard and push each other. They have to be interchangeable as quarterbacks when it comes to first team and second team. Both of those guys are plenty talented to be a starting quarterback. The decision is out of the players’ hands. We’ll let the coaches do that and roll with it.”

1
Text Only
OU Sports
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Stocks
Bedlam