West Virginia vs. Oklahoma: Sooners Have a QB Situation to Resolve Again

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterSeptember 7, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) scrambles in the second quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Knight showed a lot of promise in Oklahoma's season-opening win over Louisiana-Monroe. The redshirt freshman struggled with his completion percentage, but had over 100 yards rushing in a 34-0 win over the Warhawks. 

Turns out, Knight would regress from his solid collegiate debut in Saturday's 16-7 win over West Virginia. Knight completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw two picks against the Mountaineers before being benched in the fourth quarter in favor of redshirt junior Blake Bell. 

About those Johnny Manziel comparisons... 

Knight's two interceptions were fantastic in their own ways (not for him, obviously). One came as a result of a deflected pass that shot straight up into the air and into the hands of WVU safety Karl Joseph. The other was nothing more than a terrific individual play by Darwin Cook in the end zone. 

However, both occurred when the Sooners were on the verge of scoring. 

West Virginia's defense deserves a lot of credit, especially from yours truly after not expressing any faith in them following the Mountaineers' Week 1 win over William & Mary. But, it was also a generally off night for everyone on Oklahoma's offense, Knight included. 

What ultimately saved the Sooners from being upset at home, besides the fact that West Virginia was equally bad, if not worse, offensively, was the ground game. Brennan Clay led all rushers with 170 yards on 22 attempts. When the game clock needed to wind down, OU was able to move the chains with the ground game on a visibly tired Mountaineers defense. 

Nothing about Saturday's game was pretty: eight turnovers, a missed field goal and even more missed opportunities. Both teams will head back to the drawing board Sunday. 

For OU coach Bob Stoops, this may also mean reevaluating his quarterback situation going forward. That's not to say Knight gets knocked down the depth chart in favor of Bell after one game, but it could mean more snaps for Bell going forward. 

Maybe the two are used situationally. The closest comparison that comes to mind is what Notre Dame did last year with Everett Golson and Tommy Rees. Golson was the clear starter, but Rees would often enter games as a reliever of sorts if Golson was having a bad day. 

On Saturday, Knight had a bad day on his second career game. Bell didn't do much—he didn't need to do much—in a relief effort, but the chains nevertheless moved enough with him behind center. Does that mean more playing time for the preseason favorite to win the starting quarterback job?

Personally? Yes. But we probably won't know for sure until OU's next game against Tulsa. 


Ben Kercheval is the Lead Writer for Big 12 Football. You can follow him on Twitter @