SI Take 3: No QB controversy at OU

A weekly look at Bob Stoops' press conference, including quarterback talk, injuries and depth at running back.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will be there live for all of them and will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Bye week

Take No. 1: There is no quarterback controversy

So let's put that matter to bed before anybody brings it up. There is no quarterback controversy for the Sooners.

"Blake is the guy right now," Stoops said. "We'll see how things go from there."

There's no controversy, and there's no dissension amongst the ranks. Stoops said redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight gave Blake Bell a huge bearhug following Bell's electric performance against Tulsa.

Bell threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns in being named the Big 12's offensive player of the week.

Bell's performance has led to a lot of people wondering why Knight was chosen in the first place to start the first two games. Stoops isn't dwelling on it.

"It's hard to evaluate," Stoops said. "There are a lot of factors that different from practice to games. The defense you see. The live action – getting hit."

Experience played a role, too. Two years of the BellDozer had Bell ready for his moment. That wasn't always the case as Stoops said Bell could barely get the play out of his mouth in the huddle at Kansas State two years ago when the formation was introduced.

"It's a testament to his character that he didn't get down, didn't get negative," Stoops said. "He got his opportunity, and he was ready for it."

Bell is not as quick as Knight or Kendal Thompson, but he's obviously a lot stronger and brings about a different skill set. It will be intriguing to see if OU dips into the two-quarterback waters because of just how different the skill sets are.

Take No. 2: OU is healthy heading into Notre Dame

There were a lot of minor injuries that occurred Saturday against Tulsa, but Stoops said those shouldn't be an issue in two weeks at Notre Dame.

The only real concern was for safety Gabe Lynn, who got kicked in the head on his interception return. Stoops said Lynn's x-rays came out negative and said everybody else is OK.

Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin did not play because of a jaw injury. Stoops said he just wasn't healthy enough, but Colvin will be fine. Freshman Stanvon Taylor injured his ankle against Tulsa, but Stoops said he played well in his first start and is doing fine.

"He played really well," Stoops said. "Did a really good job. Stanvon is an excellent athlete."

The only guy Stoops didn't know about was Knight. He said Knight could return to practice this week. If not, he should be fine for next week.

Take No. 3: Logjam at running back

Stoops said two of the players who stood out offensively Saturday were running backs Keith Ford and Roy Finch. It's not easy to get snaps in at running back right now so every little bit helps.

Finch caught his first career touchdown, while Ford rushed for his first career touchdown. Like Bell, Finch is a story of perseverance.

"He has been more consistent in everything he has been doing," Stoops said. "Doing what he needs to do on and off the field."

Ford and Finch were both given some more time because of a one-game suspension to Damien Williams. Ford made the most of his chances.

"Keith is a hard, physical runner," Stoops said. "If you're in his way, he's going to knock you down. Everybody takes notice."

Stoops compared Ford's physicality to Adrian Peterson but wouldn't go as far to compare Ford to Peterson. Stoops said he's trying to keep the running backs happy. Might not be enough carries to go around, but it's a good problem to have.

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