IKARD EXPECTED BELL'S BIG PERFORMANCE
Center Gabe Ikard is one of quarterback Blake Bell's roommates, so Ikard knows the Belldozer better than most.
Did he get a sense that Bell would play as well as he ultimately did in his first career start?
“He's a guy that … he'll rise to the occasion,” Ikard said. “He's a guy that's been successful his whole life when it comes to playing sports, so I expected nothing less. Everyone doubted whether he could throw the football or not. We all knew he could.
“With what they gave us on defense, we knew that there was gonna be some chances for some big plays and if we gave him time and made him comfortable back there in the pocket, he'd be able to show what he could do.”
Bell completed 27 of 37 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns in the Sooners' 51-20 win over Tulsa. His yardage total is the OU school record for a quarterback making his first career start.
NELSON: WEEK OFF COULD HURT OR HELP SOONERS
Senior linebacker Corey Nelson was asked early last week if the Sooners' bye would help them in their preparation for a tough trip Saturday to Notre Dame.
“I feel like it could either help you are not help you, hinder you,” Nelson said. “It all depends on how well the team responds and how well the leaders step up to let everybody know, ‘Hey we can't really crap around this week.'”
The Sooners lost 30-13 to Notre Dame at home last October. That night, the defense didn't play terrible for most of the contest, but allowed Notre Dame's offense a few big plays that came back to bite OU.
“This is the biggest game of our season so far,” Nelson said. “We have to come out there and give it all that we've got. This will be the biggest game and the most important game of the season thus far. It'll show what our defense is really made of.”
OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, on the perception of his unit:
“Everybody in the country thinks we stink. And, I tell them that every single day. ‘We stink. We're not good enough.' If I was a player that was being told that, I'd come out and prove everybody wrong, too. I still don't think we've played well enough.”