DALLAS — In his limited role last October, Blake Bell scored four rushing touchdowns in Oklahoma's 63-21 Red River rout of Texas.
Based on the Longhorn defense's abysmal showing against running quarterbacks so far this season, Bell could have an even bigger game on the ground Saturday, when the junior starts his first career OU-Texas game inside Dallas' Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Nearly every quarterback Texas has faced so far this season has rushed for more yards than his season average. Kansas State's quarterback duo of Jake Waters and Daniel Sams are the only exceptions to that rule so far.
Through five games, opposing quarterbacks have rushed for 523 yards and four touchdowns against Texas.
“Some of what's happened to them is in third-and-long situations, the quarterback has scrambled and made a play while they were in coverage,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “Sometimes those opportunities present themselves and some times they don't.”
Bell has been presented several of those opportunities through his three games as the Sooners' starting quarterback. He tallied a combined 120 rushing yards on 16 carries in the Sooners' last two games against the tough run defenses of Notre Dame and TCU.
Those yards came on some designed quarterback runs, some option keepers and some scrambles.
Against Texas, he could very well become the first Oklahoma quarterback to rush for 100 yards in the Red River Rivalry since Charles Thompson in 1987.