OU football: Blake Bell's defining moment came in Bedlam game

Bell's performance on OU's final drive — particularly the spot-on, game-winning touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with 19 seconds to go — has, without question, become the junior's defining career moment.
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Modified: December 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013

That was only affirmed the week leading up to Bedlam, when coaches determined that an option-heavy, run-first attack would be best against sixth-ranked Oklahoma State, so Bell was relegated to third on the depth chart.

His close friend and team captain Gabe Ikard said Bell “took maybe five reps all week in practice” because of the scheme.

Not only had Bell been schemed out of Bedlam preparations that week, but he was thrown into sudden duty after spending much of the first three quarters standing still in below-freezing temperatures.

A strength coach stretched him out, and Bell stood in front of the sideline heater to warm up when coaches decided to put him in the game.

The Sooners led 20-17 until Oklahoma State marched down the field on a seven-play, 89-yard touchdown drive that appeared to be a backbreaker.

Oklahoma hadn't scored an offensive touchdown the entire game when Bell trotted onto the field with 1:46 remaining.

Bell completed two straight passes to Sterling Shepard to open the drive, and after the second — an 18-yard gain to OSU's 39-yard line — the junior started truly believing OU would win.

A pass interference call and Justin Gilbert's dropped interception helped the Sooners pick up yards, and on first-and-goal from the Cowboys' 7-yard line, Bell dropped the football right into Saunders' hands in the back corner of the end zone.

“That would definitely go down as one of the best moments I've had here,” Bell said. “There have been a lot of great moments, you know, last year's Bedlam, and Notre Dame this year.

“But I would say this is the one that I'll remember the most, just because of how the whole game played out.”

Now, the question remains: Who will be the Sooners' starting quarterback against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? Cases can be made for Bell, Knight and even some combination of the two.

“I think we've gotta be ready to use one of us, or several of us,” Knight said. “As you've seen throughout the year, that's happened in several different games. We've all gotta be ready to go no matter who starts the game.”



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