NORMAN — Oklahoma coaches benched Trevor Knight for Blake Bell at the beginning of the fourth quarter Saturday, when the Sooners beat West Virginia 16-7.
The reason behind the quarterback switch seemed pretty obvious. Knight was coming off a quarter in which he'd recorded more interceptions (two) than pass completions (one). Both picks came in Mountaineers' territory on drives that could've helped OU firmly take control of the game.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops did nothing to change that perception in his postgame news conference when asked why he made the quarterback change.
“I was talking to Josh (Heupel) and I'm not going to detail much of it, but at the end of the day, this was a tight competition and I just feel that it wasn't as good as we needed to be in the throwing game, so we gave (Bell) his chance,” Stoops said.
But Sunday, new information surfaced that might help explain Knight's poor performance — and the noticeable change in play calling — in the third quarter.
Tricia Knight, Trevor's mother, posted a Facebook status Sunday morning from Oklahoma City's McBride Orthopedic Hospital that said, “Praying no damage to Trevor's knee.”
Later Sunday, ESPN.com reported Knight had an MRI on his knee but that the injury isn't thought to be serious, citing a team source.
Just before halftime, Knight kept the ball on an option play from West Virginia's 9-yard line and ran down the middle toward the end zone. He picked up six yards before Mountaineers safety Karl Joseph dove at his legs and brought Knight down at the 3.
Knight was a little slow to get up, and seemed to limp around on the field as OU called a timeout.
During the timeout, OU staffers examined Knight's leg, but the redshirt freshman went back into the game for one more play — he overthrew Jalen Saunders in the end zone — before halftime.
In the first half, Knight completed 9 of 15 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed seven times for 55 yards.