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Oklahoma football: Blake Bell under the gun

OU quarterback threw his first two interceptions of the season against Texas.
by Ryan Aber Published: October 15, 2013

— After Tuesday night's practice wrapped up, Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell and several receivers stayed out on the field, getting some extra work in.

The group worked on deep balls, something the Sooners haven't had much success with so far this season, even during their 5-0 start.

In Saturday's 36-20 loss to Texas, OU didn't try to go downfield much, and when the Sooners did, they didn't have much success.

More concerning, though, was that the poise that Bell showed in wins over Tulsa and Notre Dame has seemed to fade away over the last two games against TCU and Texas.

“The first couple of starts, he was very calm, very confident, poised, decisive with the football,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “The last week, I didn't like what type of position he was in in the pocket. That let to him not being accurate with the football the way he is capable of. I felt like, as the game went on, he may (have) pressed a little bit. You can't do that at that position.”

Bell threw his first two interceptions of the season against the Longhorns, with one returned for a touchdown and another leading to Texas' final score.

“I haven't been that uncomfortable,” Bell said. “Obviously there's been times when you get pressure from a defense. There were a few times against Texas I was backing up when I was trying to throw the ball.”

Two came on back-to-back passing attempts in the third quarter. On the first, Bell felt pressure from the collapsing pocket, threw with his body parallel to the line of scrimmage and couldn't get much on the throw.

The result was a pass that sailed over Jalen Saunders, didn't get to Lacoltan Bester and instead hit Texas' Duke Thomas right in the numbers for the Longhorns' second interception of the day.

To start the next drive, Bell pump-faked initially, then tried to throw the ball away under pressure.

Again, Bell's feet weren't in position to get much on the throw and the pass was nearly intercepted near the sideline.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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