OU football Notebook: Long gainer
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 11, 2012
11/11/12 at 3:14 AM
Blake Bell's 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was equal parts offensive line surge, Bell hitting the running lane and turning on the jets.
"It was fun," the sophomore backup quarterback from Wichita, Kan., said. "The (offensive line) did a great job of picking up the linebackers. Bronson Irwin and (fullbacks) Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski and all those guys came through man-on-man and it just split.
"I knew all the (linebackers) were down and I finally got to get out in the open a little bit."
Bell's 10th rushing TD of the year was the longest run by a Sooner quarterback since Patrick Fletcher went 58 yards vs. TCU in 1998, and the longest rushing TD by a Sooner quarterback since Eric Moore's 80-yarder vs. Baylor in 1997.
Tackle machines: Sooner safeties Javon Harris and Tony Jefferson had 14 and 11 tackles, respectively. Head coach Bob Stoops said it was part of the way the Sooners chose to defend the Bears.
OU filled the field with defensive backs to cover Baylor's various receivers and spread formations, often playing with no linebackers. When the Bears ran, the safeties were tasked with coming up the field and making tackles in the open.
"That was our strategy against the run," Jefferson said.
While the Bears rushed for 252 yards, the Sooners held them to a season-low 172 passing yards. Baylor came into the game leading the nation in passing, averaging 392.1 yards per game.
"They ran the ball more than you would like, but when they stretch you so much with all the receivers, it's sort of the way you want to work 'em," Stoops said. "To limit their big plays passing, you have to make 'em hand the ball off and hope you can come up with third-down stops, and overall we did that."
Solid debut: Stoops gave a provisional thumbs up to freshman center Ty Darlington, who made his first start in place of injured Gabe Ikard.
"I thought (Darlington) did an awesome job from what I could tell. The overall line play I thought was really good, so he must have had a good game. I'll have to watch it specifically (on tape), but I thought for him to handle the situation as a true freshman was really special," Stoops said.
DéjÃ vu: Landry Jones' 35-yard TD pass to Justin Brown with 15 seconds left in the first half Saturday reminded some of a similar play at Iowa State the week before.
Leading 7-6 at Ames, Jones threw a 21-yard TD pass to Kenny Stills with 14 seconds left in the half.
Brown got behind his defender in the end zone and made a diving catch. Jones appreciated the effort.
"It was a great play by him, and not a good throw by me," Jones said. "It got caught up in the wind and got pushed. I have to realize that and put it more on a line for him."
Passing greatness: Stoops recorded his 146th victory at the Sooner helm, passing Hall of Famer Bud Wilkinson to become the second-winningest coach in school history. He now trails only Barry Switzer's 157 career wins.
On the money: Jones completed 11 of his first 13 passes and had the other two dropped - by Kenny Stills and Durron Neal..
Climbing: With his second reception of the game, Stills moved into fourth place n the school's all-time receiving list. He now has 2,317 yards. He moved past Malcolm Kelly (2005-07), who finished with 2,285 yards.
For starters: Jones made his 46th start, extending a record for Sooner quarterbacks.
Oklahoma takes the field for their football game against Baylor. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World