Image via zimbio.com
The biggest story going into the 2013 season was Oklahoma’s quarterback situation. Eventually Trevor Knight was named the starter, but then lost the gig within the first two games of the season because of injury against West Virginia. In those two games, he threw for a combined 205 yards and 4 TDs. Not the greatest of stats mind you, but they were his first two games as a redshirt freshman so I believe nerves got the best of him.
With the injury keeping Trevor out of the following game against Tulsa, the Bell-dozer took over, played well for a couple games then had some of his own struggles, yet remained the starter through the Iowa State game. Knight would then retake the reins of the starting job after Bell suffered a concussion against the Cyclones. Knight would go on to finish the regular season as the starter and in OU’s final three games, he threw for a combined 260 yards and just 1 TD. Again, not the greatest of stats, but remember he only played a portion of the Iowa State game and was knocked out of Bedlam just prior to the end of the first half. So he only played a total of eight complete quarters over those final three games. Also factor in Josh Heupel putting the ball in Brennan Clay’s hands at the end of the season, and the outstanding job he did great carrying the ball.
The passing game became secondary. And yet even in spite of that, Trevor did show us a bit of a light as to what he had to offer in those three games.
Fast forward to the lead up to the bowl game and OU “didn’t have a chance to win” against Alabama. Many believed it was primarily due to the lack of a pass game and a big question mark at QB. Remember, heading into the game and with Bell coming off that come-from-behind victory performance against Oklahoma State, no one outside of the Switzer Center actually knew who was going to get the start against Bama. However, 348 yards and 4 TDs later we all knew the media and “experts” were full of crap when it came to their doubts regarding Knight as a QB.
So what changed in our passing game that made Trevor look like an All-American QB?
Momentum is huge in college football and throughout the year, Trevor never really got the opportunity to get any momentum going. At times he showed us a lot of great individual plays, but he also made a lot mistakes due to his youth and inexperience. Frankly, plays which you’d expect from a redshirt freshman. But he also had a nine week period where he barely touched the field. With him on the field, we saw the pass and run game work in a more consistent fashion.
He has the footwork and agility to roll out and make a precise throw on the run. He is decisive and knows when to tuck it in and go, or pass the ball after reading his levels. As we saw in the Sugar Bowl, he can also sit in the pocket and make the throws to his receivers for a big play. All he really needed was the game time experience to practice and perfect his skills.
With this new group of receivers, Trevor needs to work on his timing routes. That was an issue early on last year with Jalen Saunders and the boys. He has proven he can throw the deep ball, screen pass, quick pass, and anything else you can think of. With no pressure of losing the starting job this spring, he he will feel much more comfortable in the position he’s being expected to lead this OU offense.
While interviewing him before Bedlam, he had mentioned the fact he wanted to “have fun” playing ball again. He did that vs Alabama.
‘The Knight Show’ should continue to keep OU fans happy for a long time to come.