MOORE — Kendal Thompson hasn’t had many chances to play football in front of people since he graduated from Southmoore. The former Southmoore quarterback has been regulated to the bench at Oklahoma as he watched Landry Jones rewrite the records books.
But now with Jones college career over with, Thompson finds himself in the middle of a hotly contested quarterback battle at OU. It’s a contest the sophomore seems to be enjoying.
“Most definitely,” Thompson said. “Coach (Josh) Heupel reiterates that every day. We are competing against each other but at the same time we have to support each other and that will help all three of us as a group.”
Since he arrived at Oklahoma, the only time the 6-1, 191-pound Thompson has had a chance to play with more than just his teammates watching has come during the annual Red/White Spring Game. Last year he got minimal playing time, but still showed flashes of what made him a standout with the SaberCats.
However, Saturday, playing in front of more than 29,000 Sooner fans at Owen Field, Thompson got the opportunity to make a strong case for why he deserves to get the starting nod. Rotating every series with Bake Bell and Trevor Knight, Thompson ran for 35 yards on eight carries and threw for 86 yards on 8-for-16 passing.
That included engineering the game-winning drive which concluded with a 15-yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes left in the scrimmage.
“I’ll have to watch the tape,” Thompson said. “You’re never satisfied as a ball player. There are some things I have to improve on and we’ll just keep fixing that and move forward.”
Thompson’s competition also had strong days. Bell completed 14-of-23 for 213 yards and two touchdown passes. Knight, a redshirt freshman, ran for 36 yards and completed 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and a TD.