“I believe Blake throws a good deep ball,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “We've got to get more of them out there and hopefully find more space for them.”
Oklahoma doesn't need to throw long as often as it did when Landry Jones and Sam Bradford were quarterbacking the Sooners, but defenses have adjusted to the lack of a downfield passing threat.
Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said he remembers hearing the same criticisms that are being directed Bell's way when Jones was early in his career.
“It's something that doesn't happen that often but when it does, you've got to make people pay,” Norvell said. “We're working toward that.
“Blake has done a pretty good job throwing the deep ball. We've just got to do a better job of executing and finishing. I don't know that there's any magic to it. He does a good job in practice.”
Oklahoma's passing problems certainly don't all rest on Bell's shoulders.
On the first drive of the Texas game, Brennan Clay dropped what would've been a 17-yard touchdown pass. Sooners receivers struggled to get open against the Longhorns' tight coverage. Several times that coverage led to plays breaking down and Bell taking a sack.
Bell said the offense, especially with the passing game, was out of rhythm.
They should get the chance to correct some things Saturday when the Sooners play at Kansas.
The Jayhawks have the third-worst passing defense in the Big 12.
Both Heupel and Bell said the passing game was close to having significant success.
“It's little things,” Bell said. “It's close to breaking out like that.
“I'm still learning some stuff and I know other guys are still learning. Once we put it all together, we'll be all right.”