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Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops rolls the dice with Trevor Knight

The Riverboat Gambler named a redshirt freshman his starting quarterback.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm •  Published: August 22, 2013

The Riverboat Gambler rides again.

Bob Stoops lost his reputation as a risk-taker in recent years, but the Oklahoma coach was back at his old ways Thursday afternoon when he named Trevor Knight the Sooners' starting quarterback.

This was a gutsy call.

Naming Blake Bell the starter would've been the safe choice for Stoops, Josh Heupel and anyone else involved in this decision. Bell is the quarterback everyone expected to be the starter. He's a fourth-year player. A talented guy. A fiery leader. A fan favorite.

The truth is, Bell might've been more than a safe choice. He might've been a fantastic choice. He has scored a bunch of touchdowns these past couple years as The Belldozer, and after watching him sling it around last spring, it's easy to envision him excelling as the full-time starter.

But Stoops and Co. believe Knight will excel even more, believe it so completely in fact that they stuck out their necks and picked him.

Their decision is bound to make for a tough few days. Bell will be disappointed, maybe even devastated — no one can blame him for that — and there will likely be some hurt feelings from his buddies in the locker room, too.

The Sooners rarely have such drama because Stoops usually goes with the veterans. Most of the time, he picks them largely because they're the best ones for the job, but there's also something to be said for rewarding guys who spend years working hard as backups.

But even with that, this decision could pay great dividends if Knight excels.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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