NORMAN — It's an unpopular topic: what to do if the starting quarterback gets hurt.
But Oklahoma should be in good hands if the backup quarterbacks have anything to say about it.
Sophomore Drew Allen and redshirt freshman Blake Bell are battling for OU's backup quarterback position behind Landry Jones.
First off, what about the hair? Both you guys have Landry Jones beat by a mile with your hair.
Bell: “Yeah, you're right. We got the good hair. Quarterbacks have to look good.”
Allen: “Blake's got the hair, shove it and fade it up to the top. I'm only growing it out because of my mom. She's coming to visit, and she said, ‘your hair better be long.'”
How has your relationship developed over the last year or so, battling for the backup spot?
Bell: “Me and Drew, we've been pretty good friends. Like Coach (Josh) Heupel says, we're a group. We're a team. We're not going to veer off.
Allen: “We just feed off each other. We're really good friends. We do a lot of stuff together off the field. Really tight-knit group. Go to a movie, go to dinner. We all live in the same neighborhood. Landry will call, and they'll come over”
What is the relationship like on the field?
Bell: “We're always joking around, though you have to know when you have to be serious. Drew, he's kind of the jokester. He'll say some things out on the field.
Allen: “There's no animosity. There's going to be one guy out there, and that guy needs to produce.”
What do you find admirable about the other guy?
Bell: “Off the field, he's a pretty good guy. He's got a pretty good attitude. He handles his business, but he talks all crazy. Lightens the atmosphere.”
Allen: “Blake's a good guy. He's a little sensitive now and then. He'll get after you if you get on him. If Coach Heupel gets on him, he'll fire back.”
What do you find most annoying about the other guy?
Bell: “He'll come at you pretty hard when he's joking. You throw a bad ball, he'll let you know about it. You just gotta know it's Drew.”
Allen: “There's nothing irritating, but he is the younger guy. So I do have to initiate him a little bit. The initiation is overdue. It is time to pick on the younger guys.”
DUO THEY MOST RESEMBLE
Starsky and Hutch
Allen is a lot like Ben Stiller's character, David Starsky, a streetwise cop, a curious risk taker.
Bell is more like Owen Wilson's character, Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson, laid back, easy going.
“I'm kind of the chill guy,” Bell said. “Drew is a real funny guy. He's the chirper. But it's funny. You laugh most of the time.”
And they make a great team.
“Get us together and we'll get after somebody,” Bell said. “If someone slips up and says something wrong we'll stay on the thing. If somebody says something Drew will chirp in.”
FROM THE COACH
Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel on OU quarterbacks
“Landry has better command of our overall offense. He understands what we're doing and how the defense dictates where we're going with the football. He's a lot better with his recognition of defenses. Blake Bell and Drew Allen make sure to get better each and every day. We've seen a lot of growth out of Blake so we're excited about the progress he's made. Drew is taking care of (the football), communicating well and playing up tempo so we're really impressed with Drew as well.”
OU QUARTERBACKS DYNAMIC DUO
Dave Robertson and Kerry Jackson, 1972
The Sooners on occasion have used two quarterbacks. But rarely week to week, and usually because they needed to. Not because they wanted to.
But in 1972, Chuck Fairbanks deployed both Dave Robertson, a senior recruited to be an I-formation QB, and Kerry Jackson, a freshman well-suited to the wishbone. Robertson made all the starts, but Jackson rushed for 109 yards in the season opener, and Fairbanks used him frequently.
Against Texas, Jackson relieved Robertson in both halves and directed the first touchdown drive of a 27-0 victory. The results were superb. OU went 11-1 and averaged 33.3 points a game.
Robertson rushed for 310 yards and threw for 1,136, completing more than 50 percent of his passes. Jackson rushed for 314 yards and threw for 164.
Landry Jones is a Heisman candidate that will own most school passing records. The only criticism is he's 4-5 as a starter in road games. Drew Allen and Blake Bell have talent but no experience. If Jones suffers a long-term injury there's a good supporting cast, but this offense is built around the quarterback.
Unit grade: A-minus
It doesn't get much better than having a Heisman candidate leading the offense.