NORMAN — Lest you fear having no reason to watch after halftime Saturday, Sooner fans, I offer two words.
On a night when Oklahoma is sure to throttle lowly Florida A&M, intrigue will be in short supply. Yet with a blowout comes the chance to see back-ups in a real live game, and none is more riveting than the back-up quarterback.
This is a glimpse into the future, Sooner fans.
“Blake is capable of doing a lot of the stuff that Landry does,” Sooner receiver Kenny Stills said. “Lots of big plays. Balls on the money. Hitting you right in your hands.”
Thing is, none of us ever get to witness Sooner practices and see that side of Bell. We know him only as the Belldozer, a burly, bruising battering ram who can't be stopped in short-yardage situations.
Granted, it seems that role is expanding. Last season, the Belldozer was used almost exclusively in the red zone, but last week, he was deployed on several third-and-short situations nowhere near the goal line. But even that isn't indicative of what Bell must ultimately do.
Named the back-up a few weeks ago, Bell is the heir apparent to Landry Jones. There will come a day when he takes over this offense. That means he'll have to throw it as well as he runs it. He will have to look off defenders and go through his progression and stand in the pocket and roll out of it when pressure comes and put the ball on the money.
There's evidence that Bell will be capable. Punch up his high school highlights on YouTube, and you'll see a play where the pocket totally breaks down. He breaks one tackle, then another. He ends up more than 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
On the run, he throws a rope to a receiver.
It's not a play many high school quarterbacks can make. But as good as Bell was then and as good as he's been as the Belldozer, quarterbacking the Sooners full-time is a whole different deal.
“I feel like he'd be ready if his name was called,” said Sooner safety Tony Jefferson, who sees lots of Bell in practice.
Still, as a Sooner, Bell has thrown just four passes.
That number should increase significantly Saturday. Bell will have a chance to run this offense for real and true in an actual game. That's good news for the Sooners.
Ditto for Sooner fans looking for intrigue in this blowout.
“If it gets to that,” Stills said, “don't leave.”
* Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.