Bell answers questions in Sooners' win
September, 14, 2013
By Brandon Chatmon | ESPN.com
NORMAN, Okla. -- Any more questions?
Oklahoma junior Blake Bell got his first collegiate start at quarterback on Saturday amid questions about his ability to throw the ball. Three hours later, those questions have been answered after Bell led OU to a 51-20 win against Tulsa at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Bell was outstanding as the triggerman of the OU passing game, going 27-of-37 passing for 413 yards and four touchdowns.
Is Bell the next Sam Bradford? Um, let’s not get carried away. But against the Golden Hurricane he proved he can throw the ball well enough to run the Sooners’ offense efficiently and effectively. He made several good reads, was accurate with his throws and didn’t turn the ball over, as the Sooners offense had its best performance of the season. A pair of touchdown darts up the seam of TU’s defense to Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders were further proof that the Sooners did indeed recruit Bell for his arm, not his legs.
Yet, it wasn’t just Bell who got OU’s offense humming for the first time in 2013. The receivers played better, and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel used screens and quick passes to jumpstart the offense. Shepard had the best performance of his sophomore season with eight receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Bell connected with seven different receivers as the Sooners spread the football around to several targets.
As good as Bell was on Saturday he still has to prove he can perform at a similar level against better defenses that have planned to stop a balanced offensive attack. Tulsa was athletically overmatched and essentially forced the Bell and the Sooners to beat them through the air. And he did.
Can he do that against a more talented defense? We’ll found out on Sept. 28, when Bell and the Sooners travel to Notre Dame.
Sooners Score ESPN 300 DE From VA
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31 Final Nebraska 42 24 USC 45
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State