The Norman Transcript

OU Football

December 18, 2013

Sooners juggling offensive line with injuries to Thompson, Shead

NORMAN — For the last month, Oklahoma has cobbled together offensive game plans based on who was available. Injuries necessitated a lot of changes on the fly.

Some of those injuries have healed. Both quarterbacks — Trevor Knight and Blake Bell — are healthy as the Sooners prepare to face No. 3 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Others ailments will not. Both left tackle Tyrus Thompson and left guard Adam Shead are expected to miss the game with injuries.

But at least offensive coordinator Josh Heupel knows what he expects to have available when the Sooners take the field Jan. 2 at the Super Dome.

“We mixed and matched and some of it was planned and some of it wasn’t. You have a couple different injuries that happened in the last couple weeks of the season. You try to put those guys in position to be successful,” he said. “We’ll have a mixture of a little bit of everything heading into the Sugar Bowl and try to give ourselves a chance to win the ballgame.”

The 11th-ranked Sooners haven’t named a starting quarterback for the game, and it’s highly unlikely that they will.

The reason: they want the Crimson Tide to prepare for both and the unique challenges both bring.

It was on display in the victory against Oklahoma State 11 days ago. The Sooners shifted from an option, running team when Knight was injured late in the first half, to a spread passing team with Bell on the field.

“We’ve battled injuries and we’ve battled adversity, but we’ve always found people to step up and make plays,” Knight said. “People got down on us, but here we are with a 10-win team and in the Sugar Bowl against a great Alabama team.”

Which will OU favor against the Crimson Tide? Neither OU coach Bob Stoops or Heupel will tip his hand.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Football
  • OU looking into sexual assault complaint against linebacker

    The “personal issues” that kept Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon out of last Saturday’s Red-White Game are serious.
    The Oklahoman reported Wednesday night that Shannon has been accused of violating the University of Oklahoma’s Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red-White Game more of a treat for the fans

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent....

    April 14, 2014

  • Red White Defense rules the day at spring game

    Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field ...

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

    The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I ...

    April 13, 2014

  • A couple of scares

    By his own estimation, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thought 16 returning or projected starters were not in uniform for Saturday’s Red-White Game....

    April 13, 2014

  • Red-White Game won’t showcase all the starters

    It has been a bit over four months since Oklahoma played in front of a real audience. That will change at 2 p.m. today when the Sooners take the field for the Red-White game....

    April 12, 2014

  • Grissom trying to make move to linebacker

    The next evolution for Oklahoma’s defense is under way. It’s spent two seasons tinkering to get as much speed on the field as possible....

    April 10, 2014

  • Golden Eagles top scoreless Sooners

    The feast-or-famine affliction Oklahoma’s developed when it comes to scoring runs was alive and well Tuesday night against Oral Roberts....

    April 9, 2014

  • Black and blue for Red-White game

    Anyone expecting Saturday’s Red-White game to be a true preview for next season better lower their expectations. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops gave an injury report on Tuesday. As many as 11 potential starters will miss the games due to ...

    April 9, 2014