Bell supplied the decent quarterbacking. “He managed the game well,” Heupel said. “Handled himself well.”
But it's not like Heupel unlocked the playbook for Bell. He basically ran expanded Belldozer plays. Bell played 16 snaps; he ran twice (gained 10 yards both times) and threw the screen pass that Brennan Clay dropped.
It's obvious what happened on the Sooner sideline. Stoops said let's put this game in the deep freeze and reassess the quarterback situation later. On those final two Bell drives, the Sooners ran off 4:34 and 5:22 from the clock. No hurryup. No vaunted spread. Just power football, with minimal quarterback influence, like it was 1966.
The company line that Knight is a skilled passer is losing credibility by the game. Of course, we haven't seen enough of Bell to know how he fares flinging it around.
But we saw enough of Knight on Saturday night to know he didn't secure the ball enough. Two interceptions and a fumble on a play in which he held the ball too long.
Seems like it's time to find out how Bell handles the saddle.
Certainly, being inserted into a save situation signals that Stoops and Heupel are thinking long and hard about a quarterback change.
“Some things happened in the third quarter that you just can't do,” Heupel said.
Stoops even reminded us that he declared the quarterback competition tight throughout August. And Stoops Saturday night wasn't nearly as defensive about quarterback questions as he was in August. Seemed to be opening the door for Bell.
“Just feel things weren't quite as good as they needed to be in the throwing game,” Stoops said. “Wanted to give (Bell) a chance.”
Looks like there will be more chances to come.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. 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.