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Oklahoma football: Increased mobility of Sooners' quarterbacks on full display at OU's spring game

by Jason Kersey Published: April 13, 2013

NORMAN — Oklahoma revealed few definitive plans for its 2013 offense during Saturday's spring game, won 28-24 by the White team via a confusing, arbitrary scoring system.

OU's three quarterback contenders — Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight — each led touchdown drives, commanding a basic, vanilla version of the Sooners' offensive attack. Coaches insisted afterward no decisions would be made based purely on the scrimmage, watched by 29,200 fans.

But one thing was made abundantly clear Saturday: Regardless of who quarterbacks Oklahoma in its season opener Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe, the Sooner offense will take advantage of increased mobility at the position in the post-Landry Jones era.

“I'm pleased with it,” said OU coach Bob Stoops. “That's something that always can help you. It adds a dimension to your passing game. It adds a dimension to your run game. It's definitely something all these guys can run, that will give us a few wrinkles and will give us a different dimension we haven't had a lot of.”

For all Oklahoma achieved the past four seasons because of Jones' right arm, his legs never posed much danger for opposing defenses.

Bell's first score Saturday, on the other hand, perfectly showcased what Oklahoma coaches hope to see more of next season. The junior escaped pressure, kept the play alive for several seconds while rolling right toward the sideline, pump-faked, spotted Durron Neal in the end zone and fired a 3-yard touchdown pass.

“Having a quarterback that can extend a play is a really good thing for our offense,” Neal said. “It's gonna put a lot of pressure on defenses. We're told, when the quarterback scrambles, just find a hole. If he's scrambling, turn it up and just sit in a hole and then trust him to find you.”

Bell completed 14 of 23 passes for 213 yards with two touchdowns Saturday. Thompson, a sophomore, went 8 of 15 for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Knight, a redshirt freshman, was 11 of 17, with 151 yards and a score.

OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel dialed up a few designed quarterback runs, but improvisation allowed much of the trio's rushing success. Thompson finished with 35 rushing yards on eight carries, while Knight rushed seven times for 36 yards.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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