Aug. 25, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




NORMAN, Okla. -- Experienced backup Paul Thompson beat out touted newcomer Rhett Bomar for the starting quarterback spot in Oklahoma's season opener against Texas Christian.

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Thompson, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, bided his time behind Nate Hybl and Jason White to earn a spot as Oklahoma's top quarterback.

"We felt as a staff we're going to start Thompson," coach Bob Stoops said Thursday. "We feel that he has earned it to this point."

Thompson was the backup as Hybl guided the Sooners to the Rose Bowl, and played in 10 games during White's 2003 Heisman Trophy season. He redshirted last season as White returned for a sixth year with the Sooners.

Of the final two candidates, Thompson was more steady and less prone to mistakes than Bomar, a 6-4 redshirt freshman.

"I just felt overall that there was a little more, maybe, consistency there to some degree," Stoops said, "but it's still very close when you look at them overall."

In the Sooners' three open scrimmages, Thompson was 41-for-73 for 453 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Bomar, 19 months younger, was 30-for-61 for 359 yards with two touchdowns, but also five interceptions.

Stoops said Bomar had performed well enough to earn playing time early and late in games.

In 14 career games, Thompson has completed 31 of 47 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions. In 2003, he rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and some fans thought he should have played in the national championship game as LSU's defense pressured White, who was still recovering from two knee surgeries.

Thompson starting was delayed a season when White returned for a sixth season, and that gave Bomar and Tommy Grady a chance at winning the job.

Grady, considered a viable candidate in the spring, missed all of Oklahoma's fall practices due to an intercession class, and he wound up transferring. That left only Bomar between Thompson and the starting job.

After a closed scrimmage Wednesday, coaches met and decided between the two.

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