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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

For Whom The Bell Tolls: Quarterback Controversy Brewing In Norman

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

When Trevor Knight was named the Oklahoma starting quarterback job the week before the season started, most were surprised, but not shocked.

The redshirt freshman had drawn rave reviews from both coaches and teammates about both his running and throwing ability. It was impossible to know whether or not junior Blake Bell had been bad during the competition or if Knight had been that good. Based on what we had heard, it was safe to assume it was the latter.

After two games, however, it appears the wizardry of Knight has not translated very well to real-game action from the practice field. He's completed just 21-of-48 passes so far with three interceptions and four touchdowns. Through two games, the Sooners have racked up just 243 yards through the air. That's a number former quarterbacks Landry Jones or Sam Bradford would have in a single half, if not a single quarter.

The Sooners' run game has kept the offense from being a complete dumpster fire, but the Sooners have to be able to pass the ball at some point in the season.

Knight's inability to get on the same page as his receivers—as well as the two interceptions he threw Saturday night against West Virginia—caused OU coach Bob Stoops to insert Bell at quarterback at the start of the fourth quarter Saturday night.

Related Story: Sooners Power Past West Virginia In Sloppy Affair

Now, there's a full-scale quarterback controversy brewing in Norman.

The fans' response to Bell coming in told quite the tale. When the crowd at Owen Field saw No. 10 in the huddle, they gave him a rousing cheer, one of the biggest of the night. It's clear Bell was the fan favorite to win the starting job in the first place, thanks to his role as the Belldozer the past two seasons.

Bell didn't do much of anything after coming into the game, attempting just one pass (an incompletion) and carrying the ball twice for 21 yards. However, he didn't have to do much for the flames of controversy to be fanned.

Stoops said after the game they will have to decide going forward if a change at quarterback is necessary. In reality, the Sooners have three weeks to figure it out. You don't want to still be wondering who the best guy for the job is going on the road to South Bend to face a Notre Dame defense that completely shut down the OU offense a year ago.

Yet, how is Stoops going to do that—on the practice field? That's how Knight got the job and that hasn't exactly turned out the way anyone imagined. You could decide it on the field, but the Sooners have already wasted two games worth of opportunities to split snaps between Bell and Knight and see which one is the better option.

It appears the Sooners had hitched their Schooner to Knight, with little room for second thoughts. But Knight's play the first two weeks of the season has opened the door once again for Bell to come through and seize the starting job that many thought should have been his to begin with.

Stoops has to be careful how he handles the situation because you want to keep the confidence of both players high, while making sure you make the best choice for your football team at the same time. There's also the team to consider. Whether they admit it or not, the players have a favorite in this quarterback battle and Stoops doesn't need to do anything that draws battle line in the sand.

Blake Bell didn't do a lot against West Virginia Saturday night, but his mere appearance in a game that was anything but decided showed the Oklahoma quarterback job is very much still up for grabs.

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