NORMAN — Blake Bell’s finest performance Saturday might not even have come on the natural turf Oklahoma shared with Tulsa.
It might have come afterward, with the cameras pointed at him and the recorders recording.
Yeah, you’re right, that’s kind of ridiculous. Bell had just thrown for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He’d just completed the biggest debut in the history of Sooner football for a first-time starting quarterback and he’d done it three weeks after it was first announced that Trevor Knight, not him, would be OU’s starting quarterback.
On the other hand …
“It was awesome,” he said. “I had a great time.”
That’s how it began.
He might have answered more questions than even Bob Stoops took during his turn at the podium. He might still be taking them and happily answering them if there were enough of them and nobody to hustle the media out of the Adrian Peterson room.
He wore it so well.
Bell went out and played the kind of game nobody could have expected him to play, then walked in and talked about it with a reticence, comfort level and the kind of patience nobody could have expected him to have.
He was so on top of his game Saturday, at every level, on the field and off, that the presumed discrepancy between the way he practiced while trying to win the job and the way he played against the Golden Hurricane in OU’s 51-20 was understandably vast.
At the same time, he was so good Saturday, at every level, that all appearances point toward the Sooners not only knowing who their starting quarterback will be the rest of the season and probably the next one, just as long as Bell’s healthy, but who will be the team’s primary leader over that time, too.