COLUMN: OU needs to pass out of 'Belldozer' formation
Evin Morrison, The Oklahoma Daily
I did not care for many things about OU’s offense against Notre Dame on Oct. 27, but there was one particular play I absolutely loved: sophomore quarterback Blake Bell throwing the ball on a key fourth down in the fourth quarter.
The completion on the fourth-down conversion — Bell’s eighth completion of the season and ninth of his young OU career — eventually led to a touchdown that tied the game at 13.
Even if Bell didn’t complete the pass and OU failed to convert deep in Notre Dame territory, this call still would have been a great one simply because it was something different and something that should be implemented into the offense more often.
Now, I’m not calling for Bell to take over senior quarterback Landry Jones’ starting position; quite the contrary.
Jones not only should be but better be the Sooners’ starting quarterback as long as he is stays healthy between now and the end of the season — whether it’s in a BCS bowl game or not.
But the “Belldozer” offense needs a wrinkle or two as the season nears its end.
Whenever Bell comes into the game, everyone in the stadium basically knows what play is going to be run; the question is which side the 6-foot-6, 254-pound quarterback will run.
The play works — it’s been good for nine touchdowns this season and 22 touchdowns in the past two years — but Iowa State proved something last week: The play can be defended when you know it’s coming.
Opposing players have been yelling out that the “Tebow” offense is coming when he steps onto the field. Sooner Nation may not appreciate that, but the “Tebow” offense was efficient because it included both running and throwing effectively — yes, Tebow was a good passer in college.
But that offense was efficient because former Florida coach Urban Meyer knew, like any football coach at any level knows, that an offense cannot be effective if it’s one-dimensional.
Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel needs to implement that with Bell, too, even if it’s just to a lesser extent for now.
Bell was a five-star recruit with a coveted arm coming out of high school, so why not try to use it more than just once every few close games or when OU already has secured victory?
OU is going to have to change around its offense once Bell becomes the starting quarterback — remember, that shouldn’t happen until the 2013 season at the earliest — and it only makes sense to give Bell a couple passes in opportune moments while not increasing his total plays and cutting into Jones’ time on the field.
Unless Sooner Nation has been told otherwise, people think Bell can throw the ball. So why not prove it?
The “Belldozer” offense is ready for more passing plays in timely situations to keep opposing defenses on their toes instead of constantly crowding the box.
Being one-dimensional only can hurt Bell’s growth, and the end of the season — when the Sooners are fighting for a BCS bowl berth — is a pretty good time to grow.