Oklahoma football: Saturday wasn't Trevor Knight's best day, but he and the Sooners will be fine

For starters, Trevor Knight was playing with a ton of unproven playmakers Saturday. Receiver extraordinaire Sterling Shepard was sidelined by injury. Ditto for Durron Neal, the only other returning pass catcher who had more than a hundred yards last season.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 12, 2014

Some might point to Baker Mayfield and argue that he was able to pass it well against the Sooner defense. No doubt the Texas Tech transfer who’s ineligible next season had a great afternoon. He completed all nine passes that he threw. Looked sharp. Seemed confident.

But he wasn’t going against the first-team defense all the time like Knight was.

Knight was disadvantaged, too, by quarterback runs being whistled dead as soon as a defender touched them. His ability to scramble and freelance and make big plays with his feet is one of his biggest weapons. It puts every defense on its heels, but the Sooner defense didn’t have to worry about Knight running during the spring game.

“That changes maybe some plays,” Knight said, “but we’re pass oriented first, so we’ve got those plays first.”

Knight is underselling the impact of his feet — his scrambling helps the pass game immensely by keeping defenders guessing — but still, he wasn’t interested in using the scrambling restriction as an excuse for poor play. Same goes for the defense knowing the offense so well.

“The name of the game’s execution,” he said. “You’ve still got to execute. We’ve got to be sharper on those things.”

Knight knows he needs to be better when he next steps on Owen Field, and frankly, his unwillingness to use any excuses to explain his performance Saturday is a sign of maturity. High expectations. Lofty standards.

So that made his performance in the spring game a disappointment for him, too. He doesn’t want to play like he did in the Sugar Bowl. He wants to be better.

Was it a come down? Yes.

But cause for concern?

Absolutely not.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 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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