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OU football: Pass protection a key to Blake Bell's success

Senior running back Brennan Clay said: “Just being able to protect him in the pocket. He was comfortable being able to take a shot down the field.”
by Jason Kersey Modified: October 29, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: October 28, 2013

But over the next three weeks, Bell's passing numbers — and, along with them, Oklahoma's offensive production as a whole — dipped, causing many to question the junior's ability to lead the Sooners' offense.

In Oklahoma's 36-20 loss to Texas on Oct. 12, Bell completed just 12 of 26 pass attempts for 133 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. But he was also sacked four times and hurried five times by the Longhorn defense.

Both of Bell's interceptions and three of those sacks came in third-and-long situations.

The Sooners protected Bell much better Saturday from the Red Raiders, who didn't record any sacks the entire game.

“I think Blake's played with some confidence the first couple of starts, and he's been playing with some confidence here the last couple of weeks,” said co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel after the game. “I thought he did a really good job tonight of reading the defenses, getting to the guy that had the right leverage.

“We missed a couple of things — our quarterback did — the last week or two. Hopefully the trend that we saw tonight continues.”