NORMAN — Bob Stoops watched Oklahoma State's 49-17 rout of Baylor last weekend and came away impressed with the Cowboys.
“They played good fundamental defense; they were great on possession downs; and their offense stayed on the field — I think 10 minutes longer than (Baylor) did,” Stoops said Monday.
In other words, OSU did exactly what Oklahoma couldn't do in its losses to Texas and Baylor.
But with redshirt freshman Trevor Knight running the offense again — and far more comfortable than he was at the beginning of the season — Oklahoma was efficient on third- and fourth-down conversions, balanced and controlled the clock in Saturday's 41-31 win at Kansas State.
Stoops declined to name a starting quarterback for Oklahoma's regular-season finale at Oklahoma State in two weeks, but based on Saturday's performance, Knight seems to have taken the job back from junior Blake Bell.
Knight completed 14 of 20 passes for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception against the Wildcats, and rushed for 82 yards and a score, showcasing — really, for the first time this season — the enormous talent and potential that prompted coaches to name him the starting quarterback in August.
With Bell running the offense in Oklahoma's two losses, the Sooners were a combined 6 of 30 on third-down attempts, and lost the time of possession battle in both games.
Saturday at Kansas State, though, Knight and the Sooners converted 9 of 15 third-down attempts and possessed the ball for 10 more minutes than the Wildcats.
Oklahoma State's offense was fantastic against Baylor and has improved throughout the season, so for the Sooners to have a shot at upsetting the Cowboys in Stillwater, their offense will have to replicate that performance in Manhattan.
Knight wowed his coaches and teammates last year running the scout team, and he won the starting job in August because of his big-play ability and electric athleticism.
OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops watched Knight shine against his first-team unit a year ago, and said Monday “there's not a throw on the football field he can't make.”
“It's probably the most difficult position in all of sports,” Mike Stoops said. “I don't think I'm jumping out on a limb saying that. I think to play it at the highest level for young players takes time. You're gonna go throw evolutions and progressions.
“Hopefully he can parlay (Saturday's performance) into another strong game.”