Oklahoma Football: Blake Bell is in at quarterback for Sooners

Veteran Bell gets his first start Saturday for Sooners

9/9/13 in NCAAF   |   andrewgilman   |   20 respect

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made his choice at quarterback, but was mysterious about exactly why.
 
Trevor Knight, who started the first two games of the season, was injured late in the first half against West Virginia and will not be available against Tulsa Saturday in Norman. Stoops said Knight could be back in a week or two as he recovers from a bruised knee.
 
Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell (10) scrambles in the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsSo, while Knight's injury gives Bell an opportunity, the junior may have gotten the call at quarterback, regardless. Knight threw a pair of third-quarter interceptions against West Virginia and was 10-of-20 passing for the game.

He was 11-of-28 passing against Louisiana at Monroe in a 34-0 win.
 
Knight was just 1-of-5 in the third quarter vs. the Mountaineers, including the two interceptions. Stoops said he was aware of the knee injury and said doctors are the ones making the decision on who can play and who can't.
 
"We had the information," Stoops said during a Big 12 Conference call. "He was set to play. Now he's not."
 
Seemingly healthy enough to play, Knight was replaced early in the fourth quarter. He led the Sooners to a field goal drive on his first possession.
 
"I'm sure it did affect him to some degree," Stoops said of Knight's bothering knee. "It was both," he said of the knee injury and Knight's performance. "It doesn't matter, I didn't feel things where we needed them to be. Does it really matter?"
 
Well, for now it doesn't really matter that much, considering Knight is out with an injury and Bell is back in. Meanwhile, Kendal Thompson, who is another run-pass threat at quarterback, will return to practice Monday afternoon.

Thompson, who was in the quarterback mix this spring, fractured his foot the first day of August practice. He is expected to take snaps this week as Bell's backup. 
 
"He was right there in the middle of it," Stoops said of Thompson.  
 
Stoops said Knight could return as early as next week. Oklahoma is off on September 21, but plays at Notre Dame the following week.
 
Knight did not separate himself from Bell by much in August practice, Stoops said on Monday, adding that the race was really close. His passing performances through the first two weeks didn't help, either.
 
"I thought we would have been a little cleaner at this point," Stoops said of the passing game. "We have four drops. All of us have to get on the same page."
 
Bell has scored 24 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons, mostly in short-yardage situations. He didn't complete the only pass he threw on Saturday against West Virginia.
 
Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK
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