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Oklahoma football: Why the Sooners' future is now

OU at KANSAS STATE — The future looks brighter than the present for an Oklahoma team whose preseason goals have faded. But Bob Stoops insists the young players who give coaches optimism for next season also give the Sooners the best chance to win Saturday in Manhattan.
by Jason Kersey Published: November 22, 2013

Alexander also had to take on an expanded role in making defensive calls on the field.

“I'm more comfortable now doing that because I've played more,” Alexander said. “I have more experience under my belt. People will listen to me a little bit more than when I first got here. I'm a little more comfortable doing that now.”

Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin has missed two games; sophomore Cortez Johnson and true freshman Stanvon Taylor have shown flashes of their potential in his place.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight is expected to make his first career road start Saturday in Manhattan — and could reclaim the job from junior Blake Bell for good -- making clear the Sooners' intent to move forward with a different style of offense from years past.

Oklahoma coaches also have been forced to prematurely consider life without do-it-all fullback Trey Millard after his career-ending ACL tear in late October.

Still, Bob Stoops insists he's not thinking ahead to next season.

“It's just strictly putting the best out there right now to win,” he said.

Maybe so, but in many cases, Oklahoma's best options for winning now and winning next year are one in the same.