Oklahoma lacks a much-needed aerial attack

The Sooners' loss to Texas shows what happens in the modern era when a team can't throw. With no aerial supplement, an offense struggles.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 13, 2013

Landry has moved on, so Stoops is left to figure out what to do in Landry's wake. Stoops already has swapped quarterbacks once; Bell replaced Knight in the first place because Knight's passes weren't finding Sooner hands.

What's next? Try Kendal Thompson? Stick with Bell and hope he plays to his Notre Dame level (22 of 30, 232 yards, two touchdowns)? Go back to Knight? The latter isn't likely, since if ever there was a time to do that, it would have been against Texas, which until reaching the Cotton Bowl had been having a devil of a time tackling a quarterback this season.

I don't know what Stoops will do. I do know that neither he nor Josh Heupel sound overly confident in Bell.

Heupel on the passing game: “We're not hitting any of our deep shots … there were opportunities there a little bit to unload the box that we're not taking advantage of.”

Stoops on the run game: “There were just some things we don't feel so comfortable with in some areas always with Blake.”

What they seemed to be saying is that with Landry Jones, OU had a quarterback who couldn't run but was a big-time thrower, and with Trevor Knight, OU had a quarterback who couldn't throw but was a big-time runner, and with Blake Bell, at least against Texas, OU had a quarterback who did neither.

In Bell's defense, one of his downfield throws was a gorgeous throw into the end zone, but Brennan Clay dropped what would have been a 17-yard touchdown. And we've seen Bell play moderately well against TCU and extremely well against Notre Dame.

So we'll probably see Bell against Kansas on Saturday. But whoever quarterbacks, this much we've learned in 2013. A quality running quarterback is optional. A quality passer is not.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.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.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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