Monday, December 9, 2013
Bell's fourth quarter, defense key for OU
By Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma earned itself a Sugar Bowl berth with its 33-24 win over Oklahoma State in Bedlam on Saturday -- an improbable win for an injury-riddled team. Here are five stats that defined the Sooners' stellar performance in Bedlam:
A combination of factors allowed the Sooners to celebrate another Bedlam victory.
Blake Bell's 91 raw QBR in the fourth quarter: The junior achieved hero status with his game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes of the Bedlam win. He was 9 of 14 for 134 yards (9.6 yards per attempt) and one touchdown. He played with a confidence and calm that was missing in OU’s losses to Texas and Baylor. It marked the fourth time Bell has recorded a raw QBR over 90 in the fourth quarter of a game this season (Tulsa, Notre Dame, Texas Tech). Bell’s performance also made the Sooners quarterback of the future decision as murky as it has ever been.
OSU’s yards per play on third down: OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops had his defense ready to go on third down as the Cowboys finished with negative yardage on third down. OSU ran 13 plays for minus-12 yards on third down, an average of minus-0.92 yards per play. The Pokes converted just 2 of 13 third down-conversion attempts. The Sooners secondary was so solid it held Clint Chelf to an raw QBR of 9 on third down after he entered the game leading the Big 12 with a 91.8 QBR on third down plays, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
OU won the turnover battle: The Sooners finished plus-1 in turnover margin after head coach Bob Stoops had repeatedly mentioned the turnover battle heading into Bedlam. True enough the Sooners got their final turnover on OSU’s final desperation play but to play OSU even in the turnover battle through 60 minutes of action changed the game. The Cowboys success this season was largely built upon forcing turnovers, and they fell way short of their four-turnover-per-game goal as the Sooners had one giveaway, a Kendal Thompson interception.
OSU’s 3 yard per carry average in the second half: OU’s run defense buckled down after halftime. OSU had 14 carries for 42 yards and one touchdown in the second half and really couldn’t regain the rhythm it had to open the game. Desmond Roland had nine carries for 34 yards (3.78 ypc) and one touchdown after amassing 12 carries for 110 yards (9.17 ypc) and one touchdown in the first 30 minutes.
OSU’s percentage of drives without a first down or touchdown: The Cowboys entered Bedlam with just 30.5 percent of their drives ending without a first down or touchdown. Against the Sooners, 46.7 percent of their drives ended without a first down or touchdown. Texas Tech, Texas and Baylor, three top 25 teams who suffered November losses to the Pokes, were unable to force more than 30 percent of the Pokes drives to end in that fashion. The Sooners did, and they headed home with another Bedlam victory.