NORMAN — The derby to become Oklahoma’s next starting quarterback finally entered the public phase Saturday. Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight each had their chance to show what they can do.
The traits they all share signaled to the change in the Sooners’ offense — all three bring speed and agility the position has lacked since the wishbone days.
However, it’s still the ability to throw the ball and execute the offense that will win the job.
“The main thing for me this spring is all I’ve done is run and run and run. I want to show everyone I can sling it a little, too,” junior Blake Bell said after Saturday’s Red/White Spring Game.
In that sense, Bell had the most productive afternoon in front of more than 29,000 fans at Owen Field.
Bell completed 14 of 23 passes for 213 yards along with two touchdown passes. The 23 passing attempts eclipsed what Bell did with his arm in the previous two seasons as the short-yardage quarterback.
The Belldozer alignment wasn’t part of the game plan Saturday, but taking advantage of the mobility all three possess was ingrained from the beginning.
Bell had the least productive day running the ball because he took a couple of the Sooner defenses’ four sacks.
Thompson, a sophomore, rushed for 35 yards on eight carries to go along with another 86 yards on 8-for-16 passing and a touchdown pass. Knight rushed for 36 on seven carries and was 11 for 17 throwing the ball for 151 yards and a touchdown.
“You can always see things you could’ve done better. All us quarterbacks were just treating this as another practice and for us to compete against the defense,” Thompson said. “We’re working hard as group to improve and we’ll move forward from today and continue on through the spring and then the summer and two-a-days.”