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September 11, 2013

Sooners fortunately flexible at quarterback

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s already in a scenario that it’s spent the last six months preparing for — an injured quarterback.

OU coach Bob Stoops was quick to say Monday the bruised knee Trevor Knight suffered against West Virginia wasn’t the main reason Blake Bell will start Saturday against Tulsa. They want more production and better decisions in the passing game.

But OU knew quarterback injuries were more likely with the position being involved in the run game more than it ever has under Stoops.

“More hits, more opportunities for that certainly,” offensive coordinate Josh Heupel said Tuesday night. “We try to do a really good job of educating and letting our quarterbacks understand that they can’t take hits. He took one that caught up with him. I’ve said this from the very beginning to all those guys — the strength of that position is going to have to be the group. I would say that every year, but it’s certainly true this year with an injury.”

Knight won’t be available for the game. He won’t practice this week due to the injury. Kendal Thompson will be Bell’s backup.

Nonetheless, Heupel said a shrinking depth chart at the position will not affect the play calling.

“We try to make sure we only run them when we feel like we need to,” he said. “We want to put them in situations where they are not taking big hits, but quarterback runs are going to be part of what these guys do.”

Colvin still out: Cornerback Aaron Colvin was held out of practice again Tuesday. The senior was kicked in the jaw in last Saturday’s win against West Virginia and had dental work performed Monday.

Monday, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said he expects Colvin to be available for the Tulsa game, but did not know when he would return to practice.

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