OU's QB derby is now a two-man race

NORMAN, Okla. -- The competition to become the starting quarterback at the University of Oklahoma just became a two-man race.

OU coach Bob Stoops has confirmed that sophomore quarterback Kendal Thompson suffered a broken foot during Thursday morning's practice, knocking the sophomore out of the preseason battle to replace Landry Jones. Thompson, who could return early in the 2013 season after having surgery on Thursday, was set to battle junior Blake Bell and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight during preseason camp.

Bell and Knight will now only have to split reps two ways and see increased opportunities to impress coaches and win the job.

Bell, who earned the name Belldozer with 24 rushing touchdowns during his first two seasons at OU, has the most experience of the quarterbacks on the roster and likely has the edge over Knight due to his three years in Norman and overall experience with the Sooners’ offensive concepts.

Nonetheless, it’s unwise to count out Knight, who drew rave reviews during his redshirting season in 2012 as he ran OU’s scout team. Knight was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2012 who turned down LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and others to sign with the Sooners. Bell has also only attempted 20 passes in his career and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass.

Incoming freshman Cody Thomas is the other scholarship quarterback on the roster but faces long odds to insert his name into the competition.

The preseason injury is disappointing news for Thompson, who was poised to battle for the starting position and potentially make an impact on the program for his first time since stepping on campus in 2011.