NORMAN — Bob Stoops says his Sooners don't have their “definitive” No. 2 quarterback just yet.
But there's no question sophomore Drew Allen appeared most qualified to man the job following Saturday's Red-White Spring Game.
Outplaying Blake Bell, Allen completed 16 of 29 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, propelling the Red to a 20-14 victory over the White before a crowd of 25,598 at Owen Field.
“He should take confidence from the way he played, whether it was front of people or not,” Stoops said. “Making decisions, running the offense, he did a really good job of it.
“It was exciting to see.”
On a team with 16 starters returning and so few questions remaining, the matter of who will be backing up Landry Jones next season seemed to be one of the most pressing issues of the spring.
Allen backed up Jones last season, but only attempted 14 passes and never played a meaningful down the entire season, prompting the belief that Bell, a former 5-star recruit, could make a push for the position.
Instead, Allen all but confirmed the job is his until further notice.
From the outset, he displayed command in the pocket, engineered OU's patented quick tempo and made several crisp throws downfield.
And on the Red's second possession, Allen found a groove that carried through the rest of the first half. He zipped a pass through traffic to Dejuan Miller across the middle of the field for a 20-yard first down. Came back to Kenny Stills for 10 yards on a quick out. Then, recognizing he had a free play when the defense jumped, Allen hummed a pass over the outstretched hands of cornerback Joe Powell and into the arms of Miller at the far pylon for a 16-yard touchdown.
“I came out, hit a couple of shots, missed a couple, but I felt like as an offense we moved the ball,” said Allen, whose only turnover came at the end of the second quarter on a Hail Mary attempt that was intercepted by Aaron Colvin.
Allen led the Red into White territory three more times the first half, highlighted by a 35-yard bomb to Jaz Reynolds down the sidelines.
“Drew played really well,” Miller said. “Looked real poised, was delivering the ball with good accuracy, put touch on it when he needed to, put zip when he needed to.”
Bell had some moments, too. He got off to a rough 2 for 9 start, including a short pass that was picked off by a diving Demontre Hurst. But Bell rebounded to complete 10 of 19 passes and showed off some of his speed, culminating with a 17-yard touchdown strike to Trey Franks off a quarterback rollout.
But this was still Allen's day.
“Coach (Josh) Heupel talked about how this is the closest we are going to get to a game like situation,” he said. “It brings a lot of confidence to myself and to the whole team that I was able to hold my own.”
Allen's spring game performance should raise OU's confidence about its backup, as well.
“Definitely feel more prepared to take my role as the backup,” Allen said. “Think I'll be ready to step up if I need to play some next season.”