By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — With Saturday’s 42-34 victory over Baylor, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops surpassed legendary coach Bud Wilkinson (145-29-4) as the second winningest coach in the program’s history.
“What Coach Wilkinson and what he did here is absolutely amazing. The win streak is really just incredible. I don’t believe it will ever be touched again. The national championships, the sustained success for so long,” Stoops said. “Again, I don’t look at numbers to be honest with you; it’s just not me. I’m a long way from sitting in a rocking chair and reflecting on it.”
The victory lifted Stoops’ all-time record to 146-36. Barry Switzer remains OU’s winningest coach at 157-29-4.
Slow start: Blake Bell rushed 74 yards on five carries and put the game away with a 55-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
All five of Bell’s carries came in the fourth quarter. The first three times he entered the game, ended with penalties.
“The first one, they had 12 or 13 guys on the field, so if you’re getting a first down you’re not too mad, you’re just going to get off and know you’ll get another opportunity,” Bell said. “(Center) Ty Darlington got a little antsy on one. That happens, but we end up getting the first down. The next one I kind of ran off thinking, kind of laughing to myself ‘Well, maybe we’re not going to get out here today.’ It was funny.”
In two career games, Bell has now rushed for five touchdowns on nine carries against the Bears.
Pregame bluff: OU center Gabe Ikard was in full uniform for warm ups, but was in street clothes for the opening coin toss. Stoops said that was because OU didn’t want to divulge he was out until as late as possible.
“We knew he wasn’t going to play. I’m just not much for letting the other team know too far ahead of time and they can start figuring out what they want to do to combat it,” Stoops said. “He was declared unable to play on Thursday.”
Conversion rate: OU was incredibly effective on third down. The Sooners converted nine of the 13 they faced into first downs.
Baylor was 11 of 20 on third down. On four of those failures, it went for it on fourth down, converting twice.
“You hope you can come up with your third-down stops, fourth-down stops. Overall, we did that,” Stoops said.
No turnovers: OU failed to come up with a turnover for the second time in three games. The difference between the Notre Dame game and Saturday’s against Baylor was that OU won anyway.
That didn’t seem to provide much solace to defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
“I was disappointed in no turnovers, no deflections. We dropped the ball,” he said. “You’ve got to get some turnovers against these guys, and that kept them in the game. We just couldn’t get a deflection, something. You’ve got to make a play at some point.”
Coming out hot: Landry Jones threw for 212 yards in the first half. It marked the 22nd time in his career he’s thrown for more than 200 yards in the first two quarters. The Sooners are now 21-1 when it happens.
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.