Stoops doesn't name starting QB

DALLAS – The mystery was solved fast. The first question, in fact. If anybody was hoping Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops would name a starting quarterback at Big 12 Media Days, they'll have to wait some more.

"You're kind of making assumptions if you think he's the guy right now," said Stoops when a question inferred Blake Bell is the next in line for OU at the position.

A good portion of Stoops' press conference Tuesday focused on the three-way battle at quarterback with Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight.

Stoops didn't rule out any of the three from being able to earn the spot.

"We've got a number of guys in there in competition with him that are doing really well," Stoops said. "We've never been real excited about naming a guy too early. So they're working hard as well.

"Blake is a guy that does throw the football well. We have a history in my going on 15 years of having guys in quarterbacks that are really excellent throwers, and Blake fits that mold. We would never recruit a guy that we didn't feel would be a great passer."

But for his first two seasons, Bell has made a name for himself running the ball in the Bell Dozer formation. The possibility remains for the Bell Dozer to be utilized if Bell is named the starter.

Stoops also didn't eliminate the idea of using a similar package with Thompson or Knight, who bring different qualities to the position than Bell.

"You put Kendal or Trevor back there to run it, they're faster," Stoops said. "So you've got more options there of what you're able to do with them."

Quarterback remains a question mark for OU's offense. However, the experience of the rest of the offense will give the team options. The Sooners return three senior running backs to go with a lot of quality experience between the wide receivers and offensive line.

It won't all hang on the quarterback's arm or legs. With all the experience back, it could alter the way OU goes about its business on offense.

"It's something to consider, definitely, how fast you are going, how effective it is, how it is affecting the defense," said Stoops about the possibility of slowing down the up tempo offense.

The questions on offense surrounded the quarterback situation. Defensively, the focus was on the front seven. OU has to replace five seniors from its front seven from last season.

Stoops said he's optimistic about the potential the inexperienced players have but also wasn't going to give them accolades when they haven't earned it on the field.

"We do feel we have quality players and a good number of them up there in the defensive line so those guys have to continue to develop, and they're working at it," Stoops said. "Every year there's people graduating and new guys coming up, and I believe these guys have a chance to be a good group."

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