The Norman Transcript

OU Football

September 26, 2013

Bell confident despite first road start in pivotal game

NORMAN — There isn’t a player in Oklahoma’s locker room with broader shoulders than Blake Bell. It’s good because the Sooner quarterback is likely going to feel like the weight of the world is spread across them Saturday afternoon.

Quarterbacks have to deal with that kind of pressure on a game-by-game basis, but it’s magnified when his team goes on the road.

If Bell’s feeling the heat, he’s masked it like a poker ace. He says the rookie nerves were silenced long ago. He got them out of the way running the “Belldozer” package the previous two seasons.

“I think being out there last year in some big situations — Notre Dame and Okie State and stuff like that — you feel a little bit of a presence back there,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not dropping back and throwing last year. Still, being in those big-game situations, it helps out a little bit.”

Saturday, however, will be different. He’s no longer the guy coming in to spark the offense and close out a drive. He’ll be under the gun from the opening snap. Many OU quarterbacks — and some really good ones at that — struggled the first time they went on the road for the their first big game.

Landry Jones’ initial road start was against Miami of Fla., in 2009. He was 18-for-30 for 188 yards and a touchdown pass, but OU tried its best to keep Jones of harm’s way in that game. The Sooners ran the ball 42 times and were only 5 for 15 converting third downs in a 21-20 loss.

Sam Bradford put up big numbers in his first road start (16 for 22 for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a 62-21 victory over Tulsa in 2007). But the first time OU left the state with Bradford under center, didn’t turn out so well. Bradford was just 8 for 19 for 112 yards and two interceptions in a 27-24 loss at Colorado.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Football
  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU looking into sexual assault complaint against linebacker

    The “personal issues” that kept Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon out of last Saturday’s Red-White Game are serious.
    The Oklahoman reported Wednesday night that Shannon has been accused of violating the University of Oklahoma’s Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red-White Game more of a treat for the fans

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent....

    April 14, 2014

  • Red White Defense rules the day at spring game

    Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field ...

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

    The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I ...

    April 13, 2014

  • A couple of scares

    By his own estimation, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thought 16 returning or projected starters were not in uniform for Saturday’s Red-White Game....

    April 13, 2014

  • Red-White Game won’t showcase all the starters

    It has been a bit over four months since Oklahoma played in front of a real audience. That will change at 2 p.m. today when the Sooners take the field for the Red-White game....

    April 12, 2014

  • Grissom trying to make move to linebacker

    The next evolution for Oklahoma’s defense is under way. It’s spent two seasons tinkering to get as much speed on the field as possible....

    April 10, 2014

  • Golden Eagles top scoreless Sooners

    The feast-or-famine affliction Oklahoma’s developed when it comes to scoring runs was alive and well Tuesday night against Oral Roberts....

    April 9, 2014