OU QB Thomas looks to disprove distractors

All of the redshirt freshman quarterback's success have been on the practice field

The detractors continue to pile up against Oklahoma quarterback Cody Thomas.

They have plenty of reasons.

Thomas turned the ball over three times in his first half of play and still hasn’t eclipsed the 200-passing yard mark despite starting the past two games. His passes were erratic in a rain-soaked contest against Kansas, and he didn’t throw but three passes in the second half against Iowa State.

His completion percentage is south of 40 percent and he has a 3-to-1 ratio of interceptions to touchdowns.

But fans don’t get to see practice. Apparently, that’s where all of Thomas’ success are hidden.

“In practice, I’ve seen Cody have a lot of success,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “We’ll see where it goes, but he’s done well.”

“He does a really good job in practice,” co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. “He throws a great deep ball, but it’s like everything else. We prepare to play the games and we need to do all those things in the game.”

Thomas was not made available this week by the team.

In just two games, Thomas has had more than his fair share of failure. The turnovers, the drops and the bad passes mounted up quicker than most against a freshman quarterback.

Thomas, however, has been hard-wired to failure. Make no mistake, he doesn’t want to fail, but there’s a chance that he’s able to live with it a little bit more than most of his colleagues.

After all, Thomas does play baseball, a sport built on failure.

“Hopefully, he doesn’t pay much attention to outside forces,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “But at the end of the day I’m sure he hears those things. For him as a competitor, he knows his first two performances aren’t indicative of how he’s capable of playing.

As a competitor you want to go out and perform your best. He’s confident in what he’s doing. He’ll go out and he’ll play better this week.”

Thomas is preparing for the third start of his career this weekend. He’s finally doing so with a full week of preparation and has a chance to go through all the reps on his own. It’s also against his toughest competition yet – if not in the secondary.

Oklahoma State has the worst pass defense in the Big 12 Conference, and with the best pass-blocking offensive line in the country in front of him, Thomas should have plenty of time to make his decisions and his throws.

“His reads, his progressions have been very good in what coach Heupel is asking him to do,” Stoops said. “He’s got really good discipline that way in how he progresses through his routes and reading them.”

Stoops said that Thomas is every bit as good a thrower as Trevor Knight despite a small sample size in bad conditions. Both have their inconsistencies and their successes. Thomas’ inconsistencies have been much more prevalent than his success thus far.

Norvell said that Thomas has all the passes in his arsenal.

Everyone else is still waiting to see it.

“He’s a competitor,” Heupel said. “ . . . He’s learned from them. Hopefully he doesn’t repeat any of those same mistakes.

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