NORMAN — Bob Stoops' answer to the inevitable quarterback question wasn't a surprise.
“That will be a game-time decision,” Stoops said Monday before the question even was finished being asked.
The decision won't, though, be made based on health, barring an injury moving forward.
Stoops said Trevor Knight, who started the regular season's final two games before being injured just before halftime of the Bedlam game, was back to practice over the weekend.
“He's moving around and doing well,” Stoops said. “A hundred percent, yeah.”
The Sooners haven't had stability at quarterback all season.
“We just like to keep you guys guessing at who we're going to put back (there),” Sooners center Gabe Ikard said.
Knight got the starting nod before injury and ineffectiveness helped Blake Bell become the starter for the third game.
Then Bell struggled at times late in the year before a concussion suffered against Iowa State led to Knight returning to the starting lineup for the final two games.
But it was Bell who led the Sooners to the comeback win against Oklahoma State after Knight was knocked out with a shoulder injury.
The Sooners haven't yet resumed typical practice, using the first few days of bowl practice to get an extended look at younger players and give the more experienced players a chance to recover from nagging injuries.
Once OU does begin preparations Thursday for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl against Alabama, several factors will go into determining which quarterback — Bell or Knight — will start against the Crimson Tide.
Stoops said the decision would be made not only based on which quarterback looked best in the two weeks of preparation before the bowl game but which quarterback fits best in the game plan against Alabama.
On the surface, that would appear to favor Knight, who is more effective in the zone-read and read-option packages, versus Bell who is more of a traditional pocket passer with some quarterback-run sprinkled in.
The Crimson Tide struggled to contain Auburn's zone-read offense in their Iron Bowl loss to the Tigers.
But Bell gave OU coaches plenty to think about by leading the Sooners on an eight-play, 66-yard drive in just 1:27 to beat OSU.
“We got hot throwing it on them toward the end, because we were in a situation where we had to, and we did it well,” Stoops said. “It's hard to say. Was that an advantage? I don't know that. They probably hadn't worked as much of that, from the way we had played a couple weeks before.”
Ikard, Bell's roommate, said the team would be behind whichever quarterback started. Ikard said Bell's confidence was at a high point going into the bowl game.
“Obviously with that drive — that throw — I'm sure he's extremely confident right now and he should be,” Ikard said. “To come in and do that on the last drive was impressive and definitely made our season. But they'll keep battling at quarterback. It's just how they've done it all season.”
Stoops said Bell's demeanor on the sideline before the game-winning drive inspired confidence in his teammates.
“I was half-smiling on the sideline watching him,” Stoops said. “I said, ‘Look at him, he can't wait to go.' He gets out there and is fantastic.”