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September 9, 2013

Knight’s red-zone interceptions put starting quarterback job in question

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s quarterback competition returns to square one today. OU coach Bob Stoops declined to say whether the depth chart will have the one who started (Trevor Knight) or the one who finished (Blake Bell) Saturday night’s 16-7 victory over the West Virginia at the top spot.

“That will be something as coaches that we need to talk through,” he said.

But what those discussions will really center on is what the 14th-ranked Sooners (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) need their quarterback to do.

Stoops did not seem like a coach whose team was struggling do to erratic quarterback play Saturday night. He was a lot closer to giddy after watching OU rush for over 300 yards for the second straight game and a defense that’s given up seven points in two games.

“You rush the ball for 316 yards it’s pretty special; that’s really positive,” he said.

It’s something OU’s lacked the ability to do for years. The last time OU held consecutive teams to seven points or less was back-to-back shutouts over Idaho State and Tulsa in 2009.

The Sooners play host to Tulsa (1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday. The quarterback that plays in that game will be the one that best compliments OU’s ability to run the ball and play defense.

OU wants to throw the ball better and needs to be an elite team. It shouldn’t be as hard as Knight’s made it look in the first two games. Saturday night he was 10-for-20 for 119 yards. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback Trey Millard in the second quarter, but ultimately lost the job due to two interceptions.

The first was on a first-and-goal early in the third quarter. Running backs Damien Williams and Brennan Clay had just carried OU 83 yards in just four plays. Knight had a run-pass option on first down. He chose to dump the ball in the back of the end zone, but it was picked by West Virginia linebacker Darwin Cook.

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