SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell will make his first career road start Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame.
Sooner quarterbacks under Bob Stoops are 3-4 in first road starts; all three wins were against mid-major opponents (Louisville, Air Force, Tulsa), and all four losses came against BCS-conference foes (Nebraska, UCLA, Oregon, Miami).
Here's a look at each of the Stoops-era starting quarterbacks' first career road starts:
When: Sept. 25, 1999
Game result: W, 42-21
Heupel's performance: Completed 29 of 42 pass attempts for 429 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, and also scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter. Heupel struggled some earlier in the game, though. Oklahoma trailed 21-14 in the third quarter, but outscored the Cardinals 28-0 the rest of the way. Heupel committed two second-quarter turnovers — an interception and a fumble — that gave Louisville great field position, but OU's defense helped save the first-year Sooner quarterback, holding the Cardinals out of the end zone on both ensuing possessions. Heupel would lose at Notre Dame, at Colorado and at Texas Tech that season, but led OU to the national title a year later.
When: Sept. 1, 2001
Where: Air Force
Game result: W, 44-3
Hybl's performance: Completed 14 of 31 pass attempts for 161 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also scored on a two-yard run in the first half, but OU relied heavily on running back Quentin Griffin that day. Griffin finished with 26 carries for 201 yards, 17 and 144 of which, respectively, came in the second half as OU drained the clock with a big lead. Hybl's interception came early in the game and inside Air Force's 20-yard line.
When: Oct. 27, 2001
Game result: L, 20-10
White's performance: Completed 5 of 13 pass attempts for 50 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. White replaced then-starter Nate Hybl and played well earlier that season against Texas in Dallas and at Kansas, but started his first game in Lincoln. The Sooners and Huskers were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the BCS standings. OU's first five possessions ended with an interception and four punts, but White had driven OU deep into Nebraska territory before tearing an ACL in the second quarter. White never lost another true road start the rest of his college career.
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