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Oklahoma football notebook: Why Josh Heupel brought out Blake Bell on Bedlam's opening drive

The OU offensive coordinator talks about Blake Bell's appearance on a second-and-7 play in which the backup quarterback handed the ball off to Roy Finch.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: November 28, 2012

Oklahoma backup quarterback Blake Bell made an early appearance in Saturday's Bedlam game.

When Bell came into the game, it was second-and-7 at OSU's 16-yard-line. It wasn't the typical situation for Oklahoma to use its Belldozer short-yardage package.

Then Bell handed the ball off to Roy Finch, who gained a yard. But on third-and-6, Landry Jones was back in at quarterback. He threw an incompletion and the opening drive ended in a missed field goal.

Sooner Nation went nuts, at least on Twitter. “What was Josh Heupel thinking?” was the common question.

Here's the answer.

“I jut felt like there was an opportunity for us to stick a run in there with a big-boy set,” said Heupel, OU's offensive coordinator, on Tuesday. “So it's a formation that we felt gave us an advantage and an opportunity to run the football and get into a manageable situation on third down and pick up a first down.”


If OSU cornerback Justin Gilbert hadn't let a pass slip through his hands, OU receiver Kenny Stills would never have had SportsCenter's No. 1 Play of the Day.

The play came when Jones passed to Stills at the 3-yard line on the left side of the field. Gilbert looked like he was going to pick off the pass, but it went straight through his hands, hit Stills on his chest pads, popped into the air and eventually into Stills' hands as he fell into the end zone for the touchdown that tied it before halftime.

Stills said he was fueled by an earlier play.

“I was pretty frustrated since I dropped the first touchdown,” the junior wide receiver said. “I'm pretty hard on myself about dropping balls and dropping touchdowns.

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