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.
Truth be told, this team is lucky the Belldozer worked so smashingly.
By the way, don't let the cutesy name fool you. Just because it's called the Belldozer doesn't mean it's a gimmick.
This is OU's red-zone offense.
Honestly, from the look of things Saturday vs. Texas, it might be growing into more than that. Bell was used in some non-red-zone situations, and it worked quite well.
Bob Stoops has shown time and again that he values the whole over the individual, pulling guys from redshirt late in the season or moving players to different sides of the ball. Those aren't always popular decisions, and when Stoops went looking for a solution to his team's red-zone woes, he had to know that the Belldozer wouldn't sit well with Jones. Quarterbacks, especially ones who have won as much as Jones has, don't get yanked from games when the end zone is in sight. And if they do, well, then, we all start wondering about their psyche.
This is one of the oddities of football. Think about it — players on both sides of the ball get subbed for all the time. Different situations suit different guys better than others.
No one ever asks Kenny Stills what he thinks about not being on the field for certain packages. No one ever questions Casey Walker if he's OK with someone else playing in specific situations.
Quarterback is different from any other position, of course. It's one guy. All the time. No exceptions.
Except that the Sooners made an exception.
And Landry had better get used to it.
An offense that used to struggle in the red zone is now one of the surest things in college football. Opponents have yet to figure out how to stop the Belldozer. Even though they've had months to study and scheme against it, it is still working splendidly. If anything, it's been more effective this season than it was last season.
For Jones, maybe all of that is sinking in.
“That's our short-yardage package,” he said of the Belldozer, “and that's what we're going to use down there.”
The Belldozer might irk Jones, but it doesn't really matter.
The way the Belldozer is producing, he's going to have to accept it.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.