The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

OU Sports

August 30, 2013

Mobility behind center four years in making

NORMAN — In a sense, Oklahoma has been waiting for Saturday’s season opener for several years. Years ago, the coaching staff made the decision that quarterback mobility was going to be a factor in recruiting.

The ability to tuck the ball and run is a trait Blake Bell (2010), Kendal Thompson (2011), Trevor Knight (2012) and Cody Thomas (2013) all shared.

Bell’s shown the positive effect being able to block with 10 instead of nine can have in the Belldozer package the last two seasons. However, it’s Knight who gets to display the full ramifications Saturday night when the season begins against Louisiana-Monroe at Owen Field.

So why the pull the trigger now?

“We’ve just been fortunate to find guys that we like how they throw so well, and they happen to be able to run, too,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We wouldn’t take any of them looking at their legs first. You know, it’s all about being able to throw the ball and pass the ball first, as we look at anybody, and then, hey, if there’s two of them awfully close, maybe this guy runs a little better than another guy, whatever. There are different reasons that you look for.”

The Sooners have witnessed what a weapon it can be for years. OU lost four of five to Texas from 2005-09. One of the major reasons for those losses was the Longhorns had quarterbacks — Vince Young (2005) and Colt McCoy (2006-09) — who could get out of the pocket and stretch defenses. They could turn busted plays into positive gains.

The emphatic stamp Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel put on his Heisman Trophy season was running wild against the Sooners in the AT T Cotton Bowl Classic.

“It’s kind of how the game’s evolving now with a mobile quarterback. The game’s changing a little bit,” OU center Gabe Ikard said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • 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

  • 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

  • OU womens gym 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 1 Photo

  • 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

Facebook