SI Take 3: Bell still the guy for Sooners

A lot of questions were asked to Bob Stoops but not a lot of answers were revealed. One thing is for sure, though, Blake Bell is still the starting quarterback.

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. 10: vs. Iowa State

Take No. 1: Bell is still Oklahoma's quarterback

It just isn't like Stoops to make any monumental change this deep into the season. A lot of fans might be clamoring for a change at quarterback, but that's just not likely to change for the final three games of the season.

"I'm not answering – not going to change anything with the quarterbacks," Stoops said.

Bell had another uneven performance against Baylor, going 15 of 35 for 150 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also was unable to convert crucial short yardage runs to continue drives.

A lot of the talk was about giving sophomore quarterback Kendal Thompson a chance. Again, not likely to happen.

"Kendal has done an awesome job," Stoops said. "He has a bright future. It's hard to overcome the way the season started."

Thompson missed six weeks with a fractured foot suffered during the first day of camp. Stoops said the passing game execution was not up to OU standards last week.

Some of that could be attributed to the playcalling. But Stoops wasn't about to air dirty laundry in public.

"Whether it is or not, it's not something I'll acknowledge publicly," Stoops said. "There's blame to go around to everybody. But when you're getting beat up front, it doesn't matter what you call."

Stoops said he suggests things to his offensive coaches, but in the end, leaves it to Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell to make the call.

Take No. 2: OU injury situation not pretty

Stoops wasn't optimistic following the game regarding injuries. Monday afternoon and not much had changed.

The only positive situation, Stoops said, is regarding Julian Wilson. Stoops said Wilson should return to practice soon.

"Unsure about most of them," Stoops said. "I don't believe any of them need surgeries."

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard left with an apparent concussion. Linebacker Jordan Evans was on crutches following an ankle injury. Running back Keith Ford was on crutches as well. Cornerback Aaron Colvin also left in the second half.

The loss of Shepard was felt Thursday.

"It's fair to say," Stoops said. "You lose Sterling Shepard. You lose Trey Millard – it doesn't make it any easier. It definitely chips away at you."

Stoops said if Colvin cannot play, either Cortez Johnson or Stanvon Taylor will get the start this weekend. Defensive end Charles Tapper is suspended for the first half of the game after being ejected for throwing a punch last week.

Take No. 3: Stoops not worried about direction of program

Another national spotlight and another tough loss, but Stoops isn't going to dwell on that. He's not worried about the direction of the program.

"We're 7-2 and working toward the end of the year," Stoops said. "I think there are only four or five teams that have won as many games over the last five years. It's like anytime you lose a game now, the sky is falling."

Stoops said he is excited about the young guys in the program, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He said freshman Dominique Alexander played his best game of the season.

He's not worried about next season. Stoops said there's still work to be done this season.

"One week at a time," Stoops said. "Truly is that way. Playing with pride as much as anything and make the season as positive as can be."


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