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Oklahoma football: Starting quarterback remains a question mark

OU will begin bowl practices later this week with one decision looming: Who will start at quarterback against Alabama?
by Jason Kersey Published: December 10, 2013

— Oklahoma upset a top-10 rival on the road, is 10-2 this season and earned a berth in the Sugar Bowl, where it will meet an Alabama program that has dominated college football in recent years.

And oddly enough, nobody really knows the answer to one central, simple question about the Sooners: Who is this team's quarterback?

“Whoever it takes,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said after Oklahoma's 33-24 Bedam win last weekend.

Heupel's response may sound like a coach using public subterfuge to gain an edge — a tactic Bob Stoops' staff has frequently employed of late — but at this point, the words are genuine. That's just the kind of year it's been for this vagabond offense.

Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight started the Bedlam game, but injured his non-throwing shoulder late in the first half. Junior Blake Bell — OU's third-string quarterback entering the game — played the fourth quarter and led a remarkable game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes.

Sources close to the program said Knight's injury isn't serious, and that X-rays taken Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium were negative. OU players won't practice again until later this week because of final exams, so the Sooners' Sugar Bowl quarterback strategy will likely remain a mystery for the time being.

Oklahoma spent the entire offseason installing an option offense built around a mobile quarterback, and Knight won the job after a long position battle with Bell and sophomore Kendal Thompson.

Knight wowed fans with his running ability in the first two games, even rushing for 100 yards in the season-opening rout of Louisiana-Monroe. But a knee injury and passing inconsistency cost him the job, allowing the less-mobile Bell to take over and lead a more familiar OU offense.

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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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