Stoops talks back-up QB, no targeting

OU coach discusses topics before final Tulsa prep begins

If Oklahoma is in a similar situation to last week, blowing out an opponent with the second-teamers flooding on to the field, the Sooners will have a replacement for starting quarterback Trevor Knight.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said that Cody Thomas, the Sooners’ back-up quarterback, has thrown more than 100 passes during the past two days at practice and should be recovered from his minor muscle strain that kept him out of the Sooners’ opener – and kept Knight in for the entire game.

“I don’t think, if he ever got into a game, he’d be throwing 50 (passes), so he’s probably alright,” Stoops said.

Stoops said Thomas, who threw without pain, will be the back-up for the Sooners on Saturday against Tulsa.

Thomas won the back-up job over Justice Hansen, who likely will be redshirted for the season. Oklahoma also has Baker Mayfield, who is fighting eligibility issues, and Blake Bell, who could serve as an emergency quarterback, on the roster.

Young players showing promise

In the Game 1 blowout last Saturday, plenty of Sooners who might not see much significant playing time the rest of the season – veterans and freshmen – saw action.

But there were three freshmen who saw the field, as expected, and looked very good in their roles.

Stoops said that cornerback Jordan Thomas’ intelligence has helped him rocket up the depth chart to the No. 3 corner, and safety Steven Parker has developed well in a key position in the Sooners’ secondary.

“Safety is one of the tough positions to learn,” Stoops said. “He’s picked it up really well. He does really good job of pushing himself mentally.”

Stoops also commented on the progress of redshirt freshman defensive end Charles Walker.

“He’s just figuring it out,” Stoop said of the 300-plus pound defender. “He’s a young guy that is starting to figure out what he could be. … He’s got long arms to separate. He’s got a bright future if he keeps growing.”

No target for targeting

On his radio show Tuesday night, Stoops said that he was told by Big 12 officiating coordinator Walt Anderson that linebacker Jordan Evans did nothing wrong on the play in which he was ejected from Saturday’s victory.

“The quarterback’s no longer a quarterback when he’s running with the football and he’s a runner. He wasn’t on his knee,” Stoops said on his radio show. “He wasn’t falling backwards to slide. He (didn’t) even have his knee on the ground yet and my guy’s already committed to tackling him when he ducks late. I was asking for, what am I going to tell my guy? He said, ‘You don’t have to tell him anything. He did what he was supposed to do.’”

Stoops chose not to comment on the issue further Wednesday.

“I went over it in my show last night,” he said. “I don’t need to do it again. That would be like I’m talking about the officiating. I was asked a question, and I answered it.”

Evans will not be suspended from Saturday’s game because the ejection occurred in the first half last week.

Two returners

After Oklahoma’s victory in the season opener, Stoops said that defensive back Cortez Johnson and defensive lineman Quincy Russell were no longer with the team, saying that he wasn’t sure where they were.

They have been found.

Stoops said the two practiced Wednesday, and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said Johnson practiced Tuesday.

“They’re trying to work their way on to the depth chart but it’s competitive out there,” Bob Stoops said.

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