The Norman Transcript

November 19, 2013

Heupel: If Knight starts, he’ll be expected to do it all

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — There won’t be an announcement of which quarterback will start Saturday against Kansas State. Trevor Knight took over the reins after Blake Bell was injured early in the second quarter of last Saturday’s game at Iowa State.

But offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said Tuesday if it is Knight taking the snaps Saturday, the offense will consist of a lot more than a bunch of zone reads.

Knight will be entrusted with throwing the ball.

“He won the job not just because he can run the football. We felt like he could be an efficient passer and be a great one before it’s all said and done,” Heupel said. “The first couple ball games, we were not efficient throwing the ball with him at the helm. A lot of that was him, but it wasn’t all him. He came in, played pretty well the other day, took care of the football. He had a couple drops as well. We expect him to go up there and play well running the football and throwing it.”

Shepard’s impact: OU has played without wide receiver Sterling Shepard since he suffered a concussion in the first quarter of OU’s loss to Baylor Nov. 7.

He returned to practice on Monday and will start against Kansas State.

“Unfortunately, we saw some of (the consequences of) missing him in the Baylor game, what we had to do, shuffling receivers around, guys not playing in their primary position. We didn’t execute as well as we needed to,” Heupel said. “He plays extremely physical and competitive. He’s reliable. Quarterbacks have a trust factor with him.”

Dual quarterbacks coming Saturday: The Sooners are going to face a lot of quarterback runs Saturday at Kansas State. Quarterback Daniel Sams, who split time at quarterback with Jake Waters Saturday, is the Wildcats’ leading rusher with 784 yards. Waters has rushed for 296.

But OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said the time his unit has spent defending OU quarterback Trevor Knight will help this week.

“They do a lot of similar plays,” he said, referring to both the Sooner and Wildcat offenses. “The veer option out of pistol and then the zone read are things we see a decent amount. We’ll work some periods against each other to sharpen against some good people this week. We’re gonna have to be good and defend it well.”

Lindley’s kind of game: A good player to watch Saturday against Kansas State is outside linebacker P.L. Lindley. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound sophomore is going to play a significant role in the game.

Because Kansas State will likely have more tight ends and running backs on the field than wide receivers, OU may use four linebackers most of the game.

“P.L. is a guy we have to continue to define. He’s a good player and a guy that makes us more physical at the point of attack in bigger sets,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “That’s where we try to implement a more physical player, and that’s what we need to do. He’s gonna be a guy who’s gonna be able to do those things as we move forward.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

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