Oklahoma Sooners’ quarterback Blake Bell made a smashing debut last Saturday in a 51-20 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Bell had a record-setting day with 413 yards in the air, the most ever in a Sooner QB debut.
He was able to match Trevor Knight’s season total of touchdown passes (4) in one game. So, the question is; what took so long?
The move to start Knight ahead of Bell was a puzzling early season development. The narrative out of fall camp was how impressed the Sooner coaching staff was at Knight’s ability to break off with big run after big run, but what about his ability to throw the ball? Knight had a difficult time hitting open receivers and completing passes downfield.
Interestingly enough, Knight more than likely would still be the starter had he not gone down with a knee injury. The freshman needs some time to mature with his pocket presence to be a threat in the air. Head coach Bob Stoops and co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel had hoped to let Knight mature on the job, but could they have rushed him into a situation he wasn’t ready for?
Blake Bell is the man in command moving forward, and that clearly is what the Sooners need to compete for a Big 12 title this season. Bell put up some phenomenal numbers, however, it is important to keep in mind the Tulsa defense wasn’t very good compared to what Knight had to go against with the UL-Monroe Warhawks and West Virginia Mountaineers (Which sounds crazy). However, it doesn’t take but a quick glance at how the offense operated with Bell under center to see the move makes the most sense for 2013.
The Sooners need to be able to push the ball downfield by being a vertical threat. Bell is averaging a little over 10 yards a pass, while Knight was only averaging about 4 yards. This isn’t meant to bash Knight, but the best decision for the Sooners this season is Blake Bell.
Trevor Knight has a higher ceiling than Bell, but his time is not in 2013. It’s obvious the Sonners’ staff fell in love with the potential of having a QB that can provide the big plays with his legs and in the air, but until Knight develops better accuracy; there is no reason to throw him back into the mix this year. Unless, of course, OU decides to be exclusively run orientated.
Bell is the hot hand now, and maybe he slings the ball all over Big 12 defenses, but we won’t have a good idea until Sept. 28 when the Sooners travel to Notre Dame Stadium.