Do not be surprised if Blake Bell wins Oklahoma's quarterback derby

OU coach Bob Stoops tends to go with experienced guys at quarterback. Just look at the evidence.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 12, 2013

So, if you add all of that up, three of the four quarterback battles in the Stoops Era have gone the way of the veteran. Those older guys didn't always keep the job, but they were given the first chance to prove themselves.

So it will likely go with Bell.

He certainly has the upper hand in the experience department. Over the past two seasons, he has played in 20 games, mostly in the Belldozer set, and scored 24 rushing touchdowns.

What is rare for a backup quarterback at OU is that Bell's playing time hasn't been in mop-up duty but rather on some of the biggest stages. Last season, for example, Bell scored four touchdowns against Texas, then punched in a last-second score against Oklahoma State that sent the game to overtime.

That kind of experience is invaluable in a quarterback.

And Knight and Thompson have none of it. Neither the redshirt freshman nor the redshirt sophomore has taken even one snap in a game.

Does that mean they have no chance of winning the job? Certainly not, considering the Sooners' desire to have a more mobile quarterback. Both Knight and Thompson are faster and flasher than Bell, though the big fellow moves better than most 6-foot-6, 263-pound guys.

But there's no way around the fact that the Sooners under Stoops like to go with starting quarterbacks who have as much experience as possible. And if this quarterback battle is like others during this past decade-plus, Bell will start the opener against Louisiana-Monroe.

So, analyze the quarterbacks all you want Saturday afternoon. Scrutinize every throw and every run and every snap. Pick your favorite to win the job.

Just remember that Bell has an advantage that has nothing to do with how he performs in the spring game.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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