OU football: The Belldozer lives on
The short-yardage package that puts Blake Bell in the spotlight and Landry Jones on the sidelines will remain important for the Sooners. Coach Bob Stoops said that he expects it to remain effective and that he hopes to run it 10-12 times per game.
NORMAN — Landry Jones has never wavered from his public support for the short-yardage package that relegates him to the sideline and bears his backup's name.
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The quarterback, who, in many ways, is the most prolific in Sooner history, wants to win football games above all else. If it means occasionally swallowing his pride and trading places with Blake Bell, so be it.
But at last week's Big 12 Media Days, Jones did acknowledge that retreating and watching — rather than throwing — Sooner touchdowns is kind of a drag.
“I wouldn't be a competitor if I didn't want to finish the drive,” Jones said. “If Blake (Bell) comes in, that's great and stuff, but as a competitor you want to stay in and finish the drive.”
The package that became known as the “Belldozer” was first unveiled in Oklahoma's Oct. 29 win at Kansas State when the Sooners advanced to the Wildcats' 1-yard line on their opening drive.
On the OU sideline, Jones was slyly joined by the third-string quarterback, who gave the call, broke the huddle and jogged to the line of scrimmage.
Bell secured the shotgun snap, took a quick stutter step back to choose his path forward, and ran untouched through the right side of the line. The redshirt freshman was sprinting out the back of K-State's end zone before the ESPN announcers realized Jones wasn't in the game.
The 1-yard dash was the first of Bell's team-leading 13 touchdowns, which made him a fan favorite and was just about the only way the Oklahoma offense found the end zone in the final 17 and a half quarters of the season.
Bell runs accounted for 11 of the 14 touchdowns the Sooners scored after star receiver Ryan Broyles tore his ACL midway through the third quarter of OU's Nov. 5 win against Texas A&M.
“It's pretty much the most effective thing we had,” guard Gabe Ikard said during spring practices.
But the Belldozer didn't just come in handy for red-zone trips. Bell also entered games to pick up first downs and, oftentimes, was successful.
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