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Landry Jones has to admit that the Belldozer gets the ball in the end zone

The Sooners' starting quarterback does a lot of dirty work getting the offense in the red zone, but backup Blake Bell is the guy scoring touchdowns.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 15, 2012

NORMAN — The Belldozer bothers Landry Jones.

He'll never admit that, of course. He'll never say it during a press conference. He'll never profess it to the masses. He's probably never even said as much to teammates.

He isn't that kind of guy.

But the Oklahoma quarterback can't like doing all the dirty work, driving the Sooners into the opponent's red zone, then giving way so Blake Bell can get all the touchdown glory, like he did four times this past weekend against Texas.

It has to be difficult.

“I don't know about difficult,” Jones said Monday, sounding what's become a familiar refrain when he's asked about the Belldozer, “but sure, as a competitor, I want to be there and I want to throw touchdowns and those sorts of things.”

Truth is, if he didn't have enough competitive juices to seethe and stew every time he had to exit when the gettin' was just gettin' good, that would be cause for concern.

But here's the reality — who cares what Jones thinks about the Belldozer?

Like it. Loathe it. Doesn't matter.

I mean, I like Landry. He's a good fellow. He's a character guy. He's won more games than any other quarterback in OU history, so his opinion counts for more than most.

But what he thinks about the Belldozer doesn't really matter.

What matters is 22 of 29.

That would be the touchdowns that OU has scored when it has been in the red zone this season. That means three out of every four times the Sooners have been inside the opponent's 20-yard line, they've scored a touchdown.

Not many other teams can boast such success.

Louisiana Tech scores touchdowns in the red zone a ridiculous 86.8 percent of the time. Oklahoma State and Louisville do it 77.8 percent of the time. Top-ranked Alabama does it 75.0 percent of the time.

OU's percentage: 75.9.

Much of that success is a direct result of the Sooners' power package with Bell. The numbers tell the story. Pre- Belldozer last season, they scored touchdowns 55.9 percent of the time in the red zone. Post-Belldozer, they improved to 62.5 percent.

That might not seem like a huge jump, but remember, the Sooners had Dom Whaley and Ryan Broyles those first seven games. Whaley was hurt and lost for the season vs. K-State, the same day OU rolled out the Belldozer for the first time. Broyles was hurt and lost for the season the very next week against Texas A&M.

The Sooners had both of their best offensive weapons in those first seven games and still couldn't score very well in the red zone.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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