SI Take 3: Phillips out for season

Weekly look at the top three things from Bob Stoops' press conference, including another major injury.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Game No. 7: at Kansas

Take No. 1: Phillips out for season

Things are going to get a lot more interesting for the Sooners defense. Last week it was revealed senior linebacker Corey Nelson was going to have miss the rest of the season. This week it's another vital cog that is out.

Stoops said defensive tackle Jordan Phillips will have season-ending back surgery Tuesday. Phillips has missed the last two games with the injury.

"It's a chronic back injury that just isn't improving," Stoops said.

Nelson delayed his surgery to be on the sidelines for the Texas game, but he will also have his surgery Tuesday.

The loss of Phillips is huge for the Sooners. It's going to be up to Torrea Peterson and Jordan Wade to make sure things stay clogged up in the middle.

"They played hard, but they need to play better," Stoops said. "There were some technique issues, but hopefully they'll keep improving as we go."

Stoops said there will be no schematic changes with Phillips out. He also said Quincy Russell could get some snaps but only if he practices better.

Phillips was turning into that difference maker in the middle. No telling how the OU defense reacts to this the rest of the season.

Take No. 2: No quarterback change in sight

Some fans are clamoring for a change at quarterback, but Stoops said he has no plans on replacing junior Blake Bell anytime soon.

Bell threw his first two interceptions of the season against the Longhorns and looked out of sync with his linemen and wide receivers throughout most of the game.

"No, that's not something we're looking to do," said Stoops about a change at quarterback.

Stoops once again said it was lack of execution on everybody's part Saturday and not just Bell. The quarterback run game was called some, but Texas changed the way it defended it, according to Stoops.

But Stoops did admit Bell is not suited best to be the zone read option quarterback.

"The other guys are faster, quicker and avoid things," Stoops said. "They operate it better."

Stoops said Kendal Thompson is looking good in practice but they are still trying to make up for lost time. Trevor Knight is also still ready to go. But for now, sounds like Bell is still the guy unless an injury occurs.

Take No. 3: OU is struggling getting the ball down field

The last two games have illustrated just how much trouble the OU offense is having in getting the ball down the field with the passing game.

OU's two biggest playmakers, Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders, were virtually non-existent in the loss to Texas. Shepard had no catches, while Saunders had three for 18 yards.

Saunders, in particular, has had a tough time connecting with Bell since Bell has been the starter the last four games.

"We're trying to get him the ball," Stoops said. "There are times we had him and couldn't get it to him. It's important we get them the ball. We're trying to put them into position to make those plays."

Bell overthrew Saunders badly on his second interception Saturday.

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