NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has always insisted his quarterbacks remain close off-the-field, even while competing for the starting job.
There are obviously some hurt feelings and awkwardness when someone is named starter, but we’ve seen some evidence the past few weeks that Stoops’ assessment of his quarterbacks’ relationships is accurate.
Throughout the first seven quarters of the season, junior Blake Bell always seemed fully engaged with the offense, and could be spotted several times playing catch with and encouraging redshirt freshman Trevor Knight.
When coaches chose to insert Bell into the game to start the fourth quarter of last week’s win over West Virginia, the crowd went wild.
But Knight joined in the applause on the sideline, clapping several times as Bell took the field with Oklahoma’s offense.
Knight was also the first Sooner to greet Bell as he returned to the sideline following that first series.
“Throughout the whole time, when they made the switch in the fourth quarter, he was right there in the huddle, cheering Blake on, getting Blake right mentally,” said senior running back Brennan Clay. “(Knight is) a great character all around. He’s a stand-up guy. He has great faith. He knows what needs to be done, so he’ll be fine.”
Asked if Knight and Bell were like that throughout the whole competition, Clay said, “Oh, the whole time. Obviously, it’s a competition at the University of Oklahoma, especially to be the quarterback, but they’re friends, man. That goes a long way. It didn’t matter who got the nod. Either way you’re one play away, so you’ve got to be prepared either way.”