Knight showing he’s the QB of the future at Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. — So, according to everyone – coaches, players, even Trevor Knight himself – the game is slowing down for the Oklahoma quarterback.
Everything is working out a little bit better and Knight’s confidence is soaring like a dove after a sixer of Red Bull.
And all of that is just super. It’s great news for Knight, the coaches and anyone else wearing crimson.
Knight’s ascension to the throne of Oklahoma quarterback has been a slow one. He may have earned the position back in August, but he deserved it after beating Kansas State.
Shout from the mountaintops Blake Bell or Kendal Thompson or someone, anyone should be/will be/has to be better and you’ll be wasting your time.
Because it doesn’t matter if the game is too fast for Knight, or if he’s got it all figured out. The Oklahoma coaching staff is beyond making any more changes at quarterback. Knight’s play the past six quarters guaranteed it.
In just three college starts, his fourth will be at Oklahoma State on Saturday, Knight has become the quarterback of the future.
“Don’t read, listen or watch,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel warned his quarterbacks of what people are saying. “The great guys don’t pay attention to it. You can’t.”
Interesting advice, and probably wise considering the fact all three Sooner quarterbacks this year are new to the position, but in Knight’s case, he could treat the talk as a motivation or malice. None of it matters.
The only thing that matters is Knight – and the coaches – no longer has to worry about anything but the pass rush. He’s not coming out of the game for any reason, barring a catastrophic meltdown.
“Always be ready,” Knight said. “Always be ready for your opportunity. The next play is the most important.”
And in a season where Oklahoma has gone 9-2, in spite of spotty quarterback play , that has to be the best news of the fall. Already this year, OU has gone from Knight to Bell back to Knight. That’s a lot of switching, especially when it comes after the departure of Landry Jones who never missed a game.
It’s certainly a new development. Remember, a week ago this certainty was not the case. Knight had played exactly two quarters of good football and it was two quarters against a team that isn’t and wasn’t good enough to provide an accurate measure for just about anything.
But Kansas State was and is. On the road, at Kansas State, Knight started the game by completing three passes on his first drive, the Sooners got off to a quick start and went on to a relatively easy win.
The result was a giant exhale.
So instead of spending the off week answering questions about who the quarterback should be, coaches and Knight could talk about his improvement.
Instead of talking about where Sooner fans should be on the Panic Meter, coaches and Knight could talk about the zone-read or anything else. Bell may or may not be healthy, but that’s not even a concern when it comes to depth chart issues. Bell’s health has no bearing on his playing time. Knight has been better.
That’s worth another exhale.
And that’s good news. The bad news is, Knight better play well, because the grumbling will start if the struggles start.
“Whatever they’re talking about today, they will flip if you don’t play well the next game,” Heupel said. “You’re only as good as your next performance. That’s the world coaches and athletes have chose to live in.”
Knight might be insulated within the walls of Oklahoma, but the criticism will be there if he doesn’t play well. He can rest easy knowing it won’t affect his job status, though.
“It’s fair to say, it has,” coach Bob Stoops said of a light coming on for Knight. “He’s operating much more at ease and is comfortable. The pace and the timing. Not rushing plays and allowing them to unfold while you execute.”
Like him or not, Knight is the quarterback. No reason to think he won’t be just fine, but there’s no reason to think he won’t have some issues against OSU and beyond, too. It’s just time to fully embrace the fact Knight isn’t coming out of the game.
How’s that make you feel?
Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK