The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

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 Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014