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November 13, 2013

OU plans no changes at quarterback

Norman — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made two things clear Monday: There won’t be a change at quarterback for the Sooners and he is OK with the direction his program is headed.

Stoops declined to publicly criticize junior quarterback Blake Bell or co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel or Jay Norvell following the Sooners’ woeful offensive performance in a 41-12 loss Thursday to No. 4 Baylor that effectively knocked Oklahoma out of the Big 12 Conference title race.

Despite calls from some quarters for sophomore Kendal Thompson — who missed almost all of preseason practice with a fractured foot and hasn’t played this season — to have a shot at quarterback, Stoops said Bell would remain the starter when No. 22 Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) hosts Iowa State (1-8, 0-6) on Saturday.

“We’ve just got to be able to throw the football better. We’ll continue to work on that,” said Stoops, who later added: “I’m not going to change what we’re doing with the quarterbacks” regarding playing time.

The Sooners played in the national title game after the 2008 season. During the past five seasons, Oklahoma has lost six games by 14 points or more, with three of those lopsided losses coming in the Sooners’ past 10 outings, against Texas A&M, Texas and now Baylor.

Stoops’ take on the “state of the program” was that Oklahoma is “7-2 and working to the end of the year. Just (Big 12) co-champs a year ago, right? What else do you want to know? Let’s see. We won it in 2010 and tied it in ‘12 and we’re going through ’13. I think there are only four or five teams that have won more games over the past five years. I believe that’s right. If that’s not the answer you are looking for, I’m not sure. It seems like every time you lose a game, it’s like, ‘Oh, geez, the sky is falling.”’

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