NORMAN, Okla. – In case anyone was thinking the Oklahoma offense is a fluid situation, coach Bob Stoops made sure to let everyone know it isn’t.
Saturday, after OU beat Tulsa 51-20, Stoops said it was “Pretty obvious,” Blake Bell won the starting quarterback job for the upcoming Sept. 28 game at Notre Dame. Monday, at his weekly press conference, Stoops made sure to point out the offense Bell executed against Tulsa is the same offense the Sooners will use no matter who’s in at quarterback.
Freshman Trevor Knight got the start for the first two games of the season, but Bell replaced Knight at the beginning of the fourth quarter a week ago against West Virginia. Knight suffered a bruised knee in the first half against West Virginia. He was out for Saturday’s game against Tulsa and Stoops said Knight is still out, but should be ready by the time OU takes on Notre Dame.
And while Stoops said the offense hasn’t changed, Bell threw it more often, and way more effectively, than Knight did. Bell set a school record with his 413 yards passing against Tulsa. It was the most passing yards by anyone in a first start. Bell finished 27-of-37 passing with four touchdowns.
“That’s something you can try and muster up,” Stoops said to the media who he considered were fishing for a story. “We don’t have two offenses. It’s nothing we tried to do.”
Maybe not, but when Knight started, OU featured him running the ball a lot more. Some of that may have been designed, however, some of it may be attributed to his passing. Knight was just 11-of-28 in the first game and 10-of-20 against West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Bell threw it three times on the opening possession against Tulsa in what looked to be a choreographed move to get him some passing attempts. Bell came into the game against Tulsa with more rushing touchdowns (24) in his career than pass attempts (23). The offense looked very similar to what the Sooners had run in previous seasons with Landry Jones and Sam Bradford at quarterback. It also looked drastically different than the one that featured Knight on multiple running attempts. Knight had 20 rushing attempts in his two starts.