The future is now: Sooners tab freshman Bomar at QB
NORMAN, Okla. -- After an upset in its opener, Oklahoma is making a switch at quarterback.
Coach Bob Stoops said Monday that redshirt freshman Rhett Bomar will take over for Paul Thompson as the Sooners' starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Tulsa and get the next chance at being the one to replace 2003 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White.
"We're going to give Rhett Bomar an opportunity to start and see where he takes us," Stoops said.
Bomar played in four series in the seventh-ranked Sooners' 17-10 loss to TCU on Saturday and completed 2 of 5 passes for 19 yards. On his first play after substituting for Thompson late in the second quarter, Bomar faked a handoff to tailback Adrian Peterson and rushed 28 yards down the right sideline, bullying a Horned Frogs defender along the way.
But he also was responsible for a turnover that led to TCU's winning score.
Stoops said coaches believe Bomar didn't have a chance to do much.
The 20-year-old from the Dallas suburbs lost a close competition to Thompson to become the Sooners' starter, but coaches announced beforehand that Bomar would play both early and late in the team's opener.
"I have a great opportunity to go out there and do some things to establish myself," Bomar said. "I'm really excited. This is what I've been working for. It's what I've been trying to do all my life and now it's here."
Bomar said he is confident that his performance in his next chance to lead the team's offense will be different than the first.
"I want to play, I want to keep playing. That was my No. 1 goal coming in here. I'm going to go out Saturday and prove I can be the guy."
Regarded as the team's quarterback of the future, Bomar came to Oklahoma last season from Grand Prairie High School. He had thrown for 6,097 yards and 58 touchdowns in his career there and was regarded by many as the nation's No. 2 recruit behind Peterson.
He was beaten out by Thompson because he was regarded as a more consistent quarterback who made fewer mistakes. In three fall scrimmages open to the public, Thompson had a better completion percentage, more passing yards and had no interceptions, while Bomar threw five.
Thompson, a 21-year-old junior, was also the more experienced of the two quarterbacks. He had played in 14 career games in relief of White in 2003 and Nate Hybl in 2002. He then redshirted last season.
In his first career start, Thompson struggled to sustain a drive and Oklahoma trailed 10-0 when Bomar entered with 4:10 remaining in the second quarter.
"By no means am I sitting here saying Paul Thompson is responsible for the way we played as a team Saturday," said Stoops. "We had a lot of guys -- mostly older guys -- who really played as poor as I've seen them play."
After Bomar's long run, Peterson lost 5 yards after taking a handoff from Bomar out of the shotgun and Bomar threw incomplete on second and third downs to end the drive. His two completions came on a drive that started with 14 seconds left in the first half on the 50-yard line after a TCU fumble.
His third appearance came with the score tied at 10 after Thompson led two scoring drives to start the second half. Tailback Kejuan Jones, in for an injured Peterson, picked up 2 yards on consecutive run plays and Bomar threw an incompletion to end the drive.
He returned on the next drive and fumbled while being sacked. TCU recovered the ball and scored the winning touchdown four plays later.
"We feel that Rhett deserves an opportunity to have the opportunities that Paul had and see what he can do with," Stoops said. "That's the direction we're going to go and work from there."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press