“I hear that a lot, and it's kind of frustrating. Blake can flat sling it.”
The most important and memorable of Bell's 19 collegiate pass attempts was a surprise, 8-yard completion on fourth-down against Notre Dame. On the next play, he scored on a 1-yard, game tying run.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in Bedlam's regulation, Bell entered the game on fourth-and-1 at the Cowboys' 4-yard line, broke a tackle and scored to force overtime, where OU clinched a victory.
“I think even though Blake's passes overall have been limited, the action he's had the last two years of getting hit and being in critical situations, I think all of that matters in his development,” Stoops said.
Last spring, Bell took advantage of his only opportunity to showcase his passing skills before the public, completing 14 of 19 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in the 2012 spring game.
Even though he enters this spring as the quarterback derby's favorite, Bell has to fight off serious challenges.
“I think it's definitely an advantage to have played,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “But at the same time, those younger guys showed a lot of leadership on the scout team.
“I'm really looking forward to (the competition). I think it's gonna be fun for everybody, and everybody's gonna have to step their game up because we're building a different identity with some different leadership.”
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OU SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Note: All practice dates are tentative and subject to change. Practices are not open to the public.
* Saturday, March 9
* Sunday, March 10
* Tuesday, March 12
* Thursday, March 14
* Monday, March 25
* Wednesday, March 27
* Friday, March 29
* Tuesday, April 2
* Friday, April 5
* Saturday, April 6
* Tuesday, April 9
* Thursday, April 11
* Saturday, April 13 (Spring game)
* Tuesday, April 16