The Norman Transcript

December 17, 2013

Stoops not giving away starting quarterback hand

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops declined to say who the Sooners starting quarterback will be when it faces No. 3 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

“That will be a game-time decision,” he joked Monday when asked about the situation.

Trevor Knight has started the final two games of the regular season in place of Blake Bell. Knight suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half of the Oklahoma State game and it was Bell who led OU 89-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes to win the game.

Stoops said Knight returned to practice this week and was “100 percent.”

When asked whether it was how each looked in practice or the emphasis of the game plan that would determine the starter, Stoops was incredibly vague.

“A little bit of both, probably,” he said.

Injury update: Knight has returned to practice and freshman linebacker Jordan Evans, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, has returned too.

But Stoops said it’s unlikely the left side of OU’s offensive line for most of the year — Tyrus Thompson and guard Adam Shead — will play in the Sugar Bowl.

“Those guys, we don’t expect to be back,” Stoops said

Thompson suffered an ankle injury in the Kansas State game and was seen on the sidelines at the Oklahoma State game wearing on medical boot and using a scooter to get around.

Shead has dealt with a back injury all season and has been out since the Kansas State game.

Stoops said he didn’t know if back up defensive lineman Torrea Peterson, who suffered a leg injury prior to the Kansas State game would be able to play in the Sugar Bowl, but he wasn’t ready to rule him out Monday.

Memories of Brown: Bob Stoops doesn’t know when his coaching career will end, but the 15-year struggle he had with Texas coach Mack Brown ended Saturday when Brown officially resigned. Stoops went 9-6 against the Brown-coached Longhorns with Texas claiming a 36-20 win in October.

“You’ve got to credit Mack for the consistent success for such a long period of time and I’ve got great respect for how he’s worked his program,” Stoops said. “He’s always done it in a first-class way and he’s always done it the right way. I appreciate that and respect that as a coach because I know how difficult it is. I think us that have to do it have more of an appreciation for the challenges every day that he faces. He’s done it in a remarkable way. He really has.”

As far as what he would say if he got a call from Texas athletic director Steve Patterson, Stoops declined to say anything.

“There’s no sense in going to that question. Let’s talk about the things that are happening,” he said.

Recommit: Junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana recommitted to OU Sunday night. Ijalana made the announcement via Twitter. The three-star prospect from Pierce (Calif.) Community College originally committed to OU in November and then backed out later. He apparently is back in the fold.

Ijalana is expected to enroll at OU for the spring semester in January.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

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