Expected to name a starter at some point this week, Bob Stoops could add a surprising twist to Oklahoma’s quarterback situation upon revealing his decision. Reportedly.
During a news broadcast Monday night, KFOR-TV‘s Bob Barry Jr. reported that Trevor Knight (pictured, No. 9) has won OU’s quarterback competition and will be under center when OU takes the field against Louisiana-Monroe a week from Saturday. It’s long been expected that Blake Bell (pictured, No. 10), OU’s No. 2 quarterback the past two seasons, would take over for Landry Jones.
Barry’s sources, however, insist that Knight “has won the quarterback battle” and “will get the call in the opener.” Here’s the transcript of Barry’s report, courtesy of The Daily Oklahoman:
Multiple sources have told me in the last two days, San Antonio, Texas, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight has won the quarterback battle at OU in a spirited competition against junior Blake Bell. Trevor is a 6-1, 202-pounder, who, according to those who act like they know, has been the most consistent player during the spring and summer, the smartest guy and more athletic than we know. And that’s why he’ll get the call when the Sooners line up against Louisiana-Monroe a week from Saturday. Of course nothing is official until head coach Bob Stoops says it is.
The paper, however, disputed the notion that the competition has ended and that the redshirt freshman won the starting job. “[T]wo sources with knowledge of the position battle told me early Tuesday morning that nothing had been decided,” Jason Kersey of the Oklahoman wrote.
The only irrefutable information in Barry’s report is that nothing is official until Stoops says it is. Despite what’s being reported, it would still serve as more than a mild surprise if anyone other than Bell lines up under center for the Sooners in the opener.
With multiple teams in the coach spill top 10 losing this week, there was bound to be some shaking up the rankings this week. The coaches poll still has Ohio State on top, followed by TCU, Michigan State and Baylor. Florida had the biggest jump in the rankings while Georgia had the biggest drop The coaches poll also welcomes some new additions this week.
The Florida Gators, fresh off a stomping of previous No. 3 Ole Miss (down to No. 13) moved up 11 spots in this week’s coaches poll. Florida is one of five SEC teams in this week’s coaches poll. The Big Ten has five as well. So does the Pac-12.
No. 23 Iowa, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Memphis make their debuts in the coaches poll this week, giving us our first glimpse on the national perception in the Group of Five race. I may have Boise State down a few pegs, but the coaches, or those who actually submit the votes, have the Broncos on top of the Group of Five pack. Memphis is right there as well, but not Toledo.
Here is this week’s coaches poll:
- Ohio State ( first place votes)
- Michigan State
- Florida State
- Texas A&M
- Ole Miss
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Boise State
Notre Dame fell two points shy of tying a road game at Clemson Saturday night, partly because the decision to go for two-point conversion on one early fourth-quarter touchdown backfired on the Irish. Down 12 points early in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly chose to go for two-points to cut the Clemson lead to 10 points, meaning Notre Dame would need a touchdown, extra point and a field goal to tie. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Irish trailed by 12, 21-9.
Had the Irish gone for the easier and more likely extra point, Notre Dame would have been down 11 points. That is still a bit of an uphill battle that would require a two-point conversion later on anyway, but it also meant Notre Dame had to score two touchdowns instead of a touchdown and a field goal for a shot at tying the game. Making things worse, Notre Dame burned a timeout after the touchdown before deciding which two-point conversion play to run.
Notre Dame’s execution of a late two-point conversion with the game on the line with under 10 seconds to play also came into question as the Irish looked to give freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer the call on a run-pass option. This was stuffed by Clemson as Kizer held on to the football. Kelly, after the game, defended his quarterback’s decision to try and run for the two points.
“We had fair numbers,” Kelly said. “He’s reading it at the line of scrimmage, if the numbers were fair, they were in zone coverage. It was the right call. He made the right call.”
Sometimes a player can make the right decision and still come up short. Perhaps that is exactly what happened in the rain at Clemson Saturday night. Kizer made the best possible decision in the heat of the moment, but Clemson came out on top with solid work up front on the line of scrimmage. Of course, as it turned out late in the game, Notre Dame would have only needed an extra point to tie Clemson in the final seconds after the Tigers tacked on a field goal to set up a seven-point deficit with an Irish extra point earlier. The Irish were forced to go for two because they chased the points earlier in the quarter. Hindsight might be 20/20, but Kelly is not looking back on that decision.
Kelly is hardly the only coach to make some questionable decisions under pressure this season, or this weekend. He is, however, another example of a coach being paid millions to put his program in the best position making some questionable calls that have come back to bite him. Maybe Notre Dame would have won in overtime. The Irish certainly had the momentum in their hands. Or maybe Clemson wins anyway. Who knows?