Maybe Bell is no Big Ben. But he's a Bell Tower. And you could tell from their tone that OU coaches believe they have found their man.
Stoops: “Blake, obviously, has been here a long time. He has been in a lot of big moments. He played really well today with poise and consistency. He threw the ball great and was on the money.”
Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel: “Took care of the ball, really decisive. Had good command. Did all the things you need your quarterback to do.”
So a guy who a few weeks ago was despondent over losing the starting job to a younger player, now is king of Soonerville.
“It was awesome,” Bell said. “I had a great time, first of all, just getting out there playing ball. Nothing better.”
Heupel admitted Bell was down the August day coaches handed the job to Knight. But only for a day.
“He had a tough day in the meeting room, on the practice field the following day,” Heupel said. “But he came back and probably competed even tougher.”
Gabe Ikard, Bell's center and close friend, said Bell was “torn up” after the original decision. Who wouldn't be? The heir apparent passed over for a player two years his junior.
“He could have handled it a lot of ways,” Ikard said. “Just like any position, you want to be the guy starting. He had worked very hard, competed throughout the entire year. So of course he's going to be down. But he handled himself like a veteran, like the leader he is for this football team.”
And now Bell is the quarterback for an unbeaten team headed to play Notre Dame on Sept. 28. Heady stuff for a Catholic kid from Kansas.
“Awesome,” Bell said again. “Geez, I can't wait.”
And now that the Sooner passing game has returned, neither can OU fans.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.