It wasn’t exactly a great day to be a Sooner in Norman.Coach Bob Stoops met with the media Monday after his team’s 41-12 loss to Baylor on Thursday and said the team will continue to work hard.
We know the Sooners are 7-2, but here are a few more things we learned after Monday’s meeting.
1. Blake Bell is going to be the starting quarterback, but Stoops isn’t going to talk about it
Perhaps, Stoops is just tired, at this point. Perhaps he doesn’t have anybody he feels more comfortable or confident in, but Stoops is sticking with Bell at quarterback.
And it wasn’t like Stoops threw Bell a full compliment when making that decision, either.
“I’m not going to sit here and make wholesale changes in the ninth game of the season, when we’ve done good things,” Stoops said. “Are we going to go experiment now to find out? That’s not the case.”
So here we are with Bell and the Sooners, despite the fact Bell has not been effective. He was 15-of-35 passing with two interceptions against Baylor. He ran it eight times for five yards.
That doesn’t mean it’s time for a change, however. Stoops said he was sticking with what they were doing at quarterback and he wasn’t about to evaluate who should and shouldn’t play.
“I’m not going to grade it in front of everyone,” Stoops saod. “I’m not going to sit here and give a grade publicly in front of everyone.”
There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks for backup Kendal Thompson, however, Stoops said Thompson was still behind, due to the fact he missed all of August with a broken foot.
“It’s always a different deal,” Stoops said. “Practice to games can be drastically different. I’d love to see him (Thompson) throw for 500 yards and run for another 100 but you don’t know if it can happen.”
Stoops has instead used Trevor Knight in spots. He ran it five times for 17 yards.
But the truth very well may be that the Sooners will look foolish if they switch quarterbacks now. They’ve already benched Knight in favor of Bell and now to bench Bell might send a message that the coaches aren’t sold on anybody.
Not that Stoops would say that, though.
“People want to place the blame on Blake,” center Gabe Ikard said.,”But when it comes down to it, if we execute on run game, he wouldn’t be in those situations. He’s a guy who will take it hard ,and he’ll bounce back and play well. I’m not worried about Blake.”
2. It’s going to be OK
“It seems like anytime you lose a game, it’s oh, geez, the sky is falling,” Stoops said when asked about the state of the program.
Well, no one thinks that’s going to happen, but at 7-2 the Sooners don’t give the impression they are as good as their record. Plus the way OU has lost its two games lends itself to a panic situation.
Blown away by Baylor, stunned by Texas, but Stoops wasn’t talking about any of that when it comes to discussing the way the program was going.
“Co-champs a year ago, right?,” Stoops said, “so, let’s see, what else you want to know.”
No question the Sooners have been ultra-succesful in the Big 12 under Stoops, but with a pair of blowout losses this season, people are starting to wonder what direction this team is headed.
And looking up to check on the sky, too.
3. No one is giving up on the season
There won’t be a national championship and only in the most-remote of all scenarios will there be a Big 12 title. OU still has road games at Kansas State and Oklahoma State, so wins at either of those places will be difficult as the two are the hottest teams in the conference right now.
“Basically, we got to come back to practice and shake it off,” Ikard said. “You can’t let this affect the way you play the rest of the year. We need to come back and get into film, and it’s got to be better. You can’t let negative energy make us worse.”
There’s plenty of that surrounding the program, however the players put on a good face Monday before and after practice.
OU is 7-2, a pair of wins against Kansas State and Oklahoma State would definitely change the perception that this team is slipping. However, another blowout loss and it would be tough to keep up a good attitude.
“We’re not where we want to be,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We don’t need the media to tell us where we’re at. We have to show up.”