NEW ORLEANS — While Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight was rolling to his right, looking for an open receiver early in the fourth quarter Thursday night, his coaches started to panic.
“We're all yelling, ‘don't do it, don't do it,'” Bob Stoops said Friday morning.
“Good for him.”
Knight pump faked, threw the ball into the end zone and connected with Sterling Shepard for a 9-yard touchdown.
Asked if those are the sorts of plays Stoops saw from Knight in fall camp, the coach said, “I saw more of the ones that are on time that he makes and can throw. He can extend plays with his ability — his feet.
“You have to be careful with that one. When you throw back in inside it's dangerous. Every now and then, you just have to do it and make a play and he did.”
Alabama's defense had been notoriously suspect against mobile quarterbacks; the Crimson Tide's only two losses in the past two seasons — before Thursday — came against Texas A&M and Auburn, whose offenses are led by Johnny Manziel and Nick Marshall, respectively.
Still, no one could've expected Knight to perform as well as he did, especially with his arm. The redshirt freshman from San Antonio had displayed his dynamic playmaking ability with his legs, but before Thursday's showing, hadn't used his mobility to extend passing plays, nor had he delivered accurate passes while on the move.