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OU football notebook: Sooners' Blake Bell makes debut at tight end

by Ryan Aber Published: August 30, 2014
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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.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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