NORMAN — Every day for the last nine months Oklahoma quarterbacks Trevor Knight and Blake Bell have competed against each other. Some of it was very public and some of it was private. Each wanted to prove on a daily basis he belonged atop the quarterback depth chart.
It’s the kind of relationship capable of breeding a lot of contempt and forcing teammates to take sides.
“I feel like there’s two ways to go with that,” Knight said. “You can either turn against each other or you can make each other better. I feel like me and Blake have gotten a lot closer through this experience and we continue to push each other every day at practice. It’s been good for both of us.”
A full understanding of the ripples a tense relationship between them might cause has been one of the underlying reasons OU’s season didn’t tank in the middle of November.
Both had their shots at starter and both lost the job due to a mixture of injuries and ineffectiveness.
Knight suffered a knee sprain in OU’s second game of the season against West Virginia, but turnovers and inconsistency also played a major part in the change.
Bell played like a seasoned starter until the middle of October. The concussion he suffered in the second quarter of the Iowa State game sent him to the sidelines. But the offense was stagnant prior to his injury.
Perhaps because the Sooners’ offense changes when either is on the field.
The Blake Bell that ran through tackles in 2011 and 2012 is gone. He turned into a true pocket passer this season. If OU has to win by throwing the ball, he’s the guy.
Bell showed that when he led the Sooners’ to that hurry-up 86-yard touchdown drive to win the Bedlam game.