NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops didn’t wait long to make the change all who watched the Sooners’ 16-7 victory over West Virginia knew was coming. Blake Bell will be No. 14 OU’s starting quarterback when it faces Tulsa at 11 a.m. Saturday at Owen Field.
There were two reasons for the decision: Trevor Knight, who started the first two games, suffered a bruised right knee late in the second quarter against West Virginia. He continued to play for another quarter, but the injury will keep him off the depth chart for the Tulsa game. Running back Brennan Clay also said Monday that Knight took a shot on his throwing elbow early in the game.
But Stoops said Knight’s health wasn’t the sole reason. Bell, who was inserted in the fourth quarter against the Mountaineers Saturday and engineered a field-goal drive and set OU up for another, is getting his shot at running the offense.
“When we made the switch, regardless of what reasonings, things just weren’t going as well as we felt they should have,” Stoops said Monday afternoon at his weekly press conference. “So, we wanted to give Blake an opportunity.”
The Sooners (2-0) must come up with a more
efficient passing game. Through eight quarters, they’re just 24 of 54 for 243 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bell is only responsible for three completions and has attempted six passes dating back to the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe.
Knight only averaged 4.27 yards per attempt in his two starts. The Sooners have only finished a season averaging less the 7.24 yards per attempt. Three were during Bob Stoops’ 15 seasons as head coach, but they have never averaged less than 5.93 yards during that span.
The previous low was in 2001. The major difference is that team lacked the ability to run the ball like the current version.