NORMAN — For one spring afternoon, Blake Bell got to show Oklahoma fans there is more to his game than the rough-and-tumble formation that bears his name.
Bell completed 14 of 19 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown during Saturday's spring game, outshining Drew Allen, his competition for OU's No. 2 quarterback spot on the depth chart.
“I think I came out and showed everyone I can throw,” Bell said.
“(I was) able to read the defense and sling it around a little bit ... instead of getting out there in the Belldozer package and just running.”
Bell became a fan favorite last season with his 13 rushing touchdowns, most of which came inside the 5-yard line. Saturday, Bell displayed a strong arm and good accuracy at times — especially outside the pocket.
On the final play of the first quarter, he took a shotgun snap, rolled to his right under pressure and delivered a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jaz Reynolds off his back leg.
Junior linebacker Corey Nelson continues to be impressed with Bell's growth.
“Blake Bell has improved tremendously with his accuracy,” Nelson said. “Just the way he throws it. How fast he throws it. How powerful it comes out of his hands. How quick it comes out of his hand. It's amazing just to see his growth.”
Bell and Allen took turns leading the offense Saturday after starter Landry Jones was pulled one series into the game. Each backup played with both the first and second teams.
Allen completed 10 of 18 passes for 72 yards.
OU coach Bob Stoops was adamant that he won't name a No. 2 quarterback until there's no doubt.
“I don't feel any need or hope to have to do that really quick,” Stoops said. “To have one in front of the other, that soon ... there's no need to do it. If we feel it's cut and dry, we'll do it.
“We know what we feel. We're just not much on telling (the media). We'll do it as we feel the need to, or as we feel what's best for the team.”
Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel cautioned against drawing any conclusions based solely on Saturday's spring game.
“(Bell and Allen) weren't consistent enough in handling the clock and the mechanics,” Heupel said. “The detail things that don't necessarily show up in the stat book that we need to get better at.
“We're gonna go back and watch the tape. We have had a couple other scrimmages we've been through, and 14 days of work. It's a body of work; it's not just one afternoon.”
Last year at this time, Bell and Allen entered the spring game competing to back up Jones. In the 2011 scrimmage, Allen far outplayed Bell.
Saturday, it was Bell who appeared to take an edge.
“All I can do is go out there and compete, and I've been doing that,” Bell said. “The coaches will decide. ... I can't control that.”