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Oklahoma football: A look at how freshman starters have fared for the Sooners

When Trevor Knight starts Oklahoma's season opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, he'll become the ninth freshman to start at quarterback for the Sooners. Here's a look at how the others fared.
by Ryan Aber Published: August 25, 2013

Career: Sills transferred to Garden City Community College after Blake was fired and Bob Stoops was hired.

Starting debut: Sills didn't start until Oct. 31 against Iowa State and helped the Sooners break a five-game losing streak with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Williams with just more than a minute remaining to give OU a 17-14 win. Sills threw for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

Justin Fuente

As a freshman (1996): Eric Moore started the opener against TCU, but the redshirt from Tulsa Union quickly took the job and stayed in place for much of the rest of the season. Fuente threw for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions as the Sooners finished 3-8.

Career: Fuente started his sophomore year as the starting quarterback but struggled and eventually the Sooners went back to an option offense under Brandon Daniels and Eric Moore. After the season, Fuente transferred to Murray State.

Starting debut: Fuente started at San Diego State in the second game, completing 10 of 16 passes for 197 yards. He threw an interception and didn't have a touchdown in the 51-31 loss.

Eric Moore

As a freshman (1996): In Howard Schnellenberger's lone season in Norman, Moore beat out incumbent Garrick McGee for the spot. He started all 11 games, going 5-5-1 and throwing for 1,375 yards and seven touchdowns with nine interceptions.

Career: Moore started the next season before losing his spot to Justin Fuente. Moore returned to start late in the season. He started games at quarterback in each of his four years, though never again was the full-time starter.

Starting debut: Moore split time with Garrick McGee in a 38-22 win over San Diego State at home, throwing for 143 yards and rushing for 35. Moore didn't have a touchdown and threw an interception.

Jamelle Holieway

As a freshman (1985): When Troy Aikman broke his leg in the season's fourth game, the true freshman Holieway stepped in and led the Sooners to eight consecutive wins. Holieway is the only true freshman to quarterback a team to a national championship.

Career: Holieway helped the Sooners to an 11-1 season as a sophomore, then started 8-0 before tearing his ACL in a Bedlam win late in the season. Holieway returned as a senior and started, though Charles Thompson played often and Holieway never regained the elusiveness that helped make him one of the most successful wishbone quarterbacks ever.

Starting debut: A week after Aikman's season was ended, the Holieway era began in front of the first home non-sellout for the Sooners since 1971. Holieway ran 11 times for 76 yards and a touchdown and threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Shepard in a 59-14 rout of Iowa State. The Sooners rushed for 542 yards and totaled eight touchdowns and 643 total yards.

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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