Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday Q&A: Oklahoma QB Blake Bell
By David Ubben
Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones became the Big 12's all-time leading passer a week ago, but his understudy, Blake Bell, powered his way into the end zone on fourth down with seconds to play to force overtime in an eventual 51-48 win against rival Oklahoma State.
The man at the middle of the Belldozer formation sat down with ESPN.com this week to talk about that game and a variety of other subjects.
Oklahoma's Blake Bell hopes to win the QB job next season.
Take me through the fourth-down play at Bedlam, from when you got the call to go in through the end of the play and after.
BB: It was one of those deals. We had 3rd-and-1 and called a passing play, and I thought we scored. Landry threw it to Sterling (Shepard), but they ended up calling it incomplete and so they threw us out there. 4th-and-1, 10 seconds to go, it was just one of those "do or die" type of moments. That's why you play the game. That's why I came to Oklahoma, to be in situations like that. The guys up front obviously did a great job getting on their man and the fullbacks, Trey (Millard) and Rip (Aaron Ripowski), did a good job of coming through and getting on a guy, and I got through a little bit. I met a guy at the goal line, but it was awesome.
What was it like for to you have your number called in that situation?
BB: It was awesome. We work on it every day in practice and all week, stuff like 3rd-and-1, 4th-and-1 on the goal line, stuff like that. So, when they called me out there, it was just another play, and we had to get it. My mentality going out there was "We need this. This is a win or lose situation."
I don't know if I've ever heard your opinion on the "Belldozer" moniker. Where do you stand on it, or do you have any other favorite names for it?
BB: (Laughs) You know, it kind of went back to the fans once we started the package. They came up with three or four nicknames, and asked me which one I liked, and I said 'Hey, that's up to you guys,' and they seemed to want to stick with the Belldozer. I like it. It's fun. It gives the fans, they like the name, and it's not just me. It's a package deal. They call it the Belldozer, but it's kind of cool.
What have you learned from Landry during your time so far that's going to really stick with you once he's gone on to the NFL?
BB: Shoot, I've learned so much for the guy. Probably just the way he handles himself and the way he reads defenses and the way he studies in the film room, the way he practices and things like that. But really, I'm just trying to soak up as much information as I can before he leaves. Like I said, just on how he sees things, the way he's reading on certain plays. Mostly, just the guy, he's been through ups and downs through his career, and it's good seeing how he handles stuff and what it's like.
What's your attitude toward the quarterback competition next year once Landry does leave?
BB: You know, I'm not worried about that right now. We've got a few more games right here. We'll have TCU this week and then the bowl game, so with spring coming around, we'll get that going. As of now, I'm just working on worrying about the season.
Have coaches indicated anything to you about your future at the position?
BB: Nope. Coach (Josh) Heupel will call me in at the end of the season and we'll sit down and talk and figure out what the plan is going into spring ball. I'm staying at quarterback, obviously, and I want to try and win the job.
You're a Kansas kid, but what have you learned about the rivalry and the state of Bedlam at this point with your two experiences in the game?
BB: It's awesome. The first thing that stands out is just the atmosphere. In the state of Oklahoma, this is a big deal. The state shuts down for that game and you've just got so many different fans. A lot of OSU fans and a lot of OU fans. It's a great atmosphere and a fun game to play in, especially in a situation like that going into overtime and having that last play and then all the fans being there and the whole deal afterwards, too. It's an amazing experience.
How would you compare that crowd on Saturday night to ones you've seen in your career?
BB: You'd have to put that one up there as one of the best, just the way our fans were into it. It was Bedlam, and they bring energy, too. They love this matchup and the rivalry, and I'd put this one up there with Notre Dame and College Gameday, and even one I went to back when I was getting recruited, the Texas Tech game back in 2008 when Tech was No. 2. That crowd was unbelievable, too.
What was the most memorable part of that postgame celebration?
BB: Celebrating with the teammates. We work so hard every week for games like this. But celebrating with teammates, and then they played that "Jump Around" song and we just got to celebrate with our teammates.