Quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell didn’t get onto the stat sheet, going without a catch in his first game at the position.
But Bell did a solid job blocking, including a couple blocks that sprung Sooners running backs for long gains in Oklahoma’s 48-16 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
After the game, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he would have to evaluate film before making a final determination on how Bell performed.
“It seemed to me like he played pretty well though,” Stoops said.
The Sooners looked Bell’s way in the end zone late in the second quarter but Louisiana Tech defender Lloyd Grogan interfered with Bell and Bell drew the flag.
SOONERS GET FIRST BLOCKED FG IN DECADE
Big-time special teams plays were a calling card for Oklahoma in Bob Stoops’ early years.
But the Sooners hadn’t blocked a field goal for nearly a decade before cornerback Zack Sanchez slipped through to stop Jonathan Barnes’ 51-yard attempt late in the first quarter.
The block was picked up by Eric Striker, who brought it back 20 yards to set up a touchdown that put the Sooners up 21-0.
“I found a crease there and fortunately I got my hand on it,” Sanchez said. “Striker made a play and returned it, and it created some momentum for us on offense.”
Oklahoma’s last blocked field goal came Sept. 18, 2004 against Oregon in Norman by Brodney Pool.
TYLER EVANS GETS START IN COMEBACK
In his first three years in Norman, Tyler Evans made 29 starts at right guard.
After missing the last two seasons with torn anterior cruciate ligaments, Evans made start No. 30 Saturday night.
Evans was as the third-string left guard on Oklahoma’s depth chart but started on the right side in place of Nila Kasitati.
Kasitati was dressed but it was posted on OU’s official Twitter account before the game that he was being held out for “precautionary” reasons.
The start was Evans’ first since the 2011 Insight Bowl.
JOHNSON, RUSSELL NO SHOWS
When the Sooners released their depth chart earlier this week, neither cornerback Cortez Johnson nor defensive tackle Quincy Russell were listed.
Saturday, neither was in uniform and afterward Stoops said he wasn’t sure whether either would be part of the team moving forward.
“We’ll find out Monday whether he’s with us or not,” Stoops said of Johnson, who started two games last season. “He kind of went missing the last couple of days. He may have quit.”
MIXON TWEETS SUPPORT BEFORE GAME
Suspended OU freshman Joe Mixon reactivated his Twitter account a couple weeks ago, but hasn’t sent out very many tweets.
A couple hours before kickoff Saturday, though, Mixon tweeted, “Man this hurt … Goodluck 2 my brothers out there in Oklahoma. … Go Crazy I'll be watching! #LetsGetIt #BoomerSooner”
Mixon, a five-star running back prospect from Oakley, Calif., was charged with a misdemeanor stemming from a late-night, off-campus altercation with a female OU student. The university suspended Mixon for this season from all football activities.
It is unclear if Mixon attended Saturday’s game. Mixon later deleted his pregame tweet.
SHEPARD DISPLAYS RETURN SKILLS
Receiver Sterling Shepard was impressive in his collegiate punt-returning debut.
The junior from Heritage Hall picked up 17 yards on his first punt return of the game in the first quarter, and added an 18-yard return in the third quarter.
After that second return — with the game well in hand — OU coaches replaced Shepard at punt returner with true freshman receiver Michiah Quick.
Shepard’s weren’t the only big returns for the Sooners against the Bulldogs.
Alex Ross added an 80-yard kick return that gave OU the ball inside the 15 in the second half.
Shepard was a standout return man in high school, but hadn’t had the opportunity to return punts so far in his OU career. He waited two years behind Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders.
Saunders, who was named to the New York Jets roster over the weekend, was in Norman for the game Saturday night.
SWITZER MAKES GRAND ENTRANCE AFTER THIRD QUARTER
During the break between the third and fourth quarters, a video featuring legendary former OU coach Barry Switzer appeared on the Jumbotron. Switzer spoke during the video about protecting OU’s tradition and never quitting.
The 76-year-old then ran through smoke onto the field out of the northwest tunnel to thunderous applause.
According to OU spokesman Pete Moris, the Sooners will welcome back a different legend to begin the fourth quarter at every home game this season.
SHEPARD DOES ‘SUPERMAN’ AGAIN
Shepard got some advice from the coaches after his 16-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight early in the first quarter.
The words didn’t have anything to do with Shepard’s catch or the route but his celebration.
After scoring, Shepard pulled on his shirt, mimicking Cam Newton’s Superman celebration.
Shepard has a history with the celebration and it figures that’s why Bob Stoops said something to him about it.
Shepard was penalized for doing the move in January’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, though the call was incorrect. Shepard was called for doing the banned “throat slash” gesture after a touchdown late in the second quarter of the bowl game.
REPLAY SCHEDULED, TV FOR TULSA SET
The game, which was broadcast on pay-per-view, will be replayed on Fox Sports Oklahoma at 9 a.m. Monday.
The broadcast will be squeezed into a three-hour window.
The kickoff for next week’s game at Tulsa has long been set for 11 a.m., but the network was unknown until Saturday night.
ABC and ESPN2 will broadcast the game in a reverse mirror. The game will be broadcast in ABC in some markets and ESPN2 in others. ABC will carry the game in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Michael Hunnicutt extended his school record for made field goals to 64 with a pair of field goals. Hunnicutt has made nine in a row dating back to last season’s win over Iowa State. … Sooners Dimitri Flowers, Samaje Perine, Daniel Brooks, K.J. Young, Jordan Smallwood, Jeffery Mead, Michiah Quick, Josiah St. John, Sam Grant, Jonathan Alvarez, David Driskill, D.J. Ward, Charles Walker, Matt Romar, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Devante Bond, Steven Parker, Jordan Thomas and Wesley Horky made their OU debuts. … The Sooners are now 20-0 against current members of Conference USA.