By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin was held out of practice for the third straight day Wednesday, but he still hasn’t been ruled out for Saturday’s game against Tulsa.
“Aaron’s close, and Aaron said he feels good, and he’s expected to go tomorrow,” OU coach Bob Stoops said after Wednesday’s practice.
Colvin, who has started 27 straight games dating back to the 2011 season, was kicked in the jaw in the second half of last Saturday’s 16-7 victory over West Virginia. The kick resulted in Colvin cracking a molar.
If Colvin can’t play, sophomore Cortez Johnson will make his first career start at the left cornerback spot.
Stoops doesn’t believe it will come to that.
“We’ve just kind of been holding him,” he said. “He’s feeling good and he’s expected to go tomorrow.”
Saunders accepts blame: Oklahoma wants more out of its passing game, and hopes that’s the case when Blake Bell makes his first career start Saturday against Tulsa.
However, players say you can’t put all of the Sooners’ passing struggles (24-for-54 for 243 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions) on redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight.
“I’m blaming us,” OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders said when asked about the receivers Tuesday night. “We should be able to get more open and create more space to throw us balls. I had a couple of drops in the first game, and this past game we had miscues on reads and that was our fault after we watched the film. I put the blame on us.”
Back in the mix:Sophomore quarterback Kendal Thompson returned to practice and will be Blake Bell’s backup Saturday against Tulsa. But Monday’s practice was Thompson’s first in six weeks due to a foot injury.
Whether or not he’s up to speed is something OU won’t really know until he plays in a game.
“It’s hard to tell until you get any type of game speed in practice,” fullback Trey Millard said when asked how Thompson has performed since returning to practice. “You’re kind of going with the scouts a lot and it’s not quite the same speed, so maybe, but you can’t tell how much.”
Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said Thompson’s arm appears to be fine.
“He’s done a good job trying to keep his arm in shape. Once he was able to be in the boot and put pressure on it, he did a good job of throwing. Other than just having to get through his progressions and get the feel of the game, get the speed of it, he’s doing good.”
Knew the risks: Adding quarterback runs to the game plan comes at a risk. After two games, it’s already lost Knight for at least Saturday’s game. If something were to happen to Bell Saturday, OU could be looking at a scenario where true freshman Cody Thomas might have to burn his redshirt.
“Was I aware that it could happen? Sure. We’re not fools,” Stoops said. “Absolutely, it’s something you have to be aware of. A lot of people seem to do it and it works pretty well. Every now and then that’s going to happen.”
Heupel said, however, he’s less concerned about injuries when quarterbacks are running.
“The hits in the pocket are extremely violent when you’re in an unprotected position and exposed,” he said