No announcement on starting quarterback
Another day came and went without Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops announcing a starter for the Sooners’ 2013 season opener, scheduled Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe on Owen Field.
Despite television reports to the contrary, sources told The Oklahoman that OU coaches still haven’t named a winner in their quarterback battle between junior Blake Bell and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight.
The quarterback battle began in the spring between Bell, Knight and sophomore Kendal Thompson. Thompson was considered a viable option until suffering a foot injury on the first day of the Sooners’ preseason fall camp this month.
Stoops told ESPN’s SportsCenter last week that he hoped to name a starting quarterback by the end of this week.FINCH DESCRIBES MATURITY
Senior running back Roy Finch believes he’s finally ready to regain a prominent role in Oklahoma’s offense.
Finch started several games as a sophomore in 2011, when he rushed for 605 yards and three touchdowns.
But last year, he fell behind Damien Williams and Brennan Clay on the depth chart, largely due to off-the-field issues.
He returned kicks every game, but recorded just seven carries in the entire 2012 season.
“I feel like the middle part of last year, I matured a lot and kind of grew up and became the man that I needed to be, on and off the field, to be that player that I need to be for this team,” Finch said. “It was unfortunate that we already had a running back kind of established and you don’t want to stop the flow of the season.
“I felt like I saw a change in myself the middle part of last year and I just kind of carried it over throughout the summer. Classes, the way I work — I always work hard, but it was just kind of inconsistent in my everyday life.”
Bob Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel have praised Finch’s work ethic and attitude since the spring.
Asked how all of the Sooners’ talented, experienced running backs would split up the carries this year, Finch said: “I don’t know. I feel like the coaches are going to put us in the right spots and kind of give us the touches that we need.”TAPPER: RUSSELL A ‘MONSTER’
Oklahoma sophomore defensive end Charles Tapper is a big guy, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 261 pounds.
So when he says another player is going to be a “monster” — a word he used to describe new junior defensive tackle Quincy Russell — that means a little something extra.
“He’s tough,” Tapper said. “Coming off the ball, he’s just an animal.”
Russell signed with Oklahoma out of Trinity Valley Community College and originally planned to join the Sooners in January. But academic issues forced him to spend all spring, summer and the first few weeks of fall camp getting eligible.
The 6-4, 315-pound Russell made it to Norman late last week. Despite his delayed arrival, Russell could be in line for immediate playing time on a defensive line lacking experienced depth.
“He’s a great student of the game,” Tapper said. “He asks us all the time what to do and what we should be doing. He tries to learn each position just in case he gets thrown into that opportunity.”QUOTABLE
Oklahoma senior center Gabe Ikard, on how he’ll feel when a starting quarterback is announced:
“It will probably be the happiest moment of my year so far. It’s just ... it’s not like ... first of all, I’m not going to tell you guys. I’m not going to tell someone randomly that comes up on the street. It’s just not going to happen. But they insist on asking. Some people 10-15 times.”
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER