After Trevor Knight was named the starting quarterback, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he expected the Belldozer to continue in some form.
But to start the second quarter of Oklahoma's eventual 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe, it became apparent that things had changed.
With the Sooners facing a third-and-one from their 31, Knight stayed in the game and ran for a first down himself for a five-yard gain.
Stoops said he didn't consider going with Bell.
Three plays later, Knight stayed in again on a third-and-short and Damien Williams ran for the first down.
Through the first three quarters, the Sooners had five chances with third and less than three yards. OU gained first downs on all but one--three rushing and one passing.
Bell came in the game with the Sooners up 34-0 with just less than 11 minutes remaining.
After a season-long suspension, Sooners wide receiver Jaz Reynolds played for the first time since the 2011 Bedlam game.
Reynolds made his first catch midway through the second quarter, going to his knees to haul in a 12-yard pass that gave the Sooners a first down.
The catch, Reynolds only one of the night, was reviewed but upheld.
REVIEW HURTS SHUTOUT BID
Early in the fourth quarter, it looked like Knight had found Trey Metoyer for a long completion, but Louisiana-Monroe's Cordero Smith stripped the ball away as the two tumbled to the ground.
One official ruled that Metoyer had caught the ball and was down before losing possession, but referees conferred and wound up calling the pass incomplete.
After a review, though, Smith was credited with the interception.
The Warhawks took the ball inside the 20 but the Sooners stopped ULM on fourth down to get the ball back with the shutout intact.
KASITATI GETS START
Bronson Irwin had been listed as the starter at right guard going into the game.
But sophomore Nila Kasitati made his first career start in Irwin's spot.
Irwin, who had started all 13 games last season, played only one first-half drive.
Six Sooners made their first start — Kasitati, Knight, Jordan Phillips, Charles Tapper, Zack Sanchez and Quentin Hayes.
ROMAR SITS, OTHER FRESHMAN DEBUT
Freshman Matt Romar was one of the freshmen the Sooners were expecting to play this season.
But Romar didn't dress, instead coming out on the field with a brace on his right leg and a wrap under the brace.
Several other freshmen, though, made their OU debuts — outside of Knight.
Ahmad Thomas, Jordan Evans and redshirt Derrick Woods all played on the kick return team to start the game.
Sixteen players made their Sooner debuts, including running backs Keith Ford and Alex Ross.
Ross drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his lone carry.
FORMER PLAYERS RETURN
With the NFL season not starting for another week, a couple of former Sooners now playing professionally used the time to return to Norman.
Detroit Lions receiver Ryan Broyles watched the game from the sidelines, as did Tony Jefferson and David King.
Jefferson went undrafted after entering the draft following his junior year last season but signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
Jefferson made the Cardinals roster, while King was among the last cuts for Philadelphia.
SELLOUT STREAK CONTINUES
There were still tickets available as of late Friday evening but the sellout streak that stretches the entirety of the Bob Stoops era lives on.
The announced attendance was 84,911 — nearly 3,000 above the listed capacity of 82,112.
SEVERAL IN-STATE RECRUITS WATCH GAME
The list of visitors for Saturday night's game wasn't very long but included several commits.
Edmond Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen, Tulsa Union tight end Carson Meier, Irving (Texas) Ranchview defensive end Brandon Glenn and Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko-Alali (2015) were expected to visit for the game.
Among the other in-state players expected to be in attendance were Lawton offensive guard Jalin Barnett, Guthrie athlete Kai Callins and Jenks defensive back Steven Parker.
Barnett and Parker have Sooners offers.
Julian Wilson's interception was the first in his Sooners career. … The win was Stoops' 150th, pulling him eight wins away from Barry Switzer. …. The Sooners are 5-0 under Stoops in August and 5-1 overall. … The shutout was the first since a 52-0 win over Iowa State on Oct. 16, 2010 and the first in a season opener since a 37-0 win over Tulsa in 2002. … The shutout was the 250th in Sooners history and the 14th under Stoops. … No Louisiana-Monroe player had more than nine yards rushing.