Heupel, speaking during a radio interview with former Sooners Dusty Dvoracek and Teddy Lehman, said that if safety is the issue, the up-tempo shouldn't be allowed at all during games, even during the final two minutes of each half.
Stoops echoed those sentiments.
“If it's safe the last two minutes of the half, how's it not safe the rest of the game?” Stoops said. “They don't allow targeting the last two minutes of each half.”
Thursday night, Bielema told reporters that those opposed to the proposal were “turning a blind eye to the fact,” and when asked for evidence that up-tempo offenses cause injuries, he responded, “Death certificates.”
Bielema was referring to the Feb. 7 death of Cal senior defensive end Ted Agu, who had reportedly tested positive for sickle cell trait.
“If one of those players is on the field for me, and I have no timeouts, I have no way to stop the game,” Bielema said. “And he raises his hand to stop the game, and I can't do it. What am I supposed to do? What are we supposed to do when we have a player who tells us he's injured?”
Stoops counters that the game already stops when a player is injured.
“We've been operating for six years in an up-tempo,” Stoops said. “If someone's hurt, play is stopped. … They talk about players with the sickle cell trait, or asthma, goes to a knee, puts his hand up and play is stopped. That's how the game has been played forever. Nothing's changed.
“The other thing is, if you're going to do this, what comes next? ‘Oh, the quarterback can't get in the shotgun and run the ball, because he might get hurt.' … Don't allow the defense to blitz more rushers than the offense has blockers. Because the quarterback might get killed. Somebody's going to be unblocked. To me, that's a lot more unsafe than going tempo.”