The original plan didn’t involve Blake Bell being the starting quarterback for Oklahoma this season, but it has mostly turned out for the best. Even though the Sooners still need one more huge win over a top 10 team to take control of their own destiny in the conference while hoping another Domino falls their way, they seem to be in the right direction.
Bell knew it was going to take a special effort from him to hand Texas Tech their first loss this season. He finished with 293 all-purpose yards, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns; running for 44 yards on 9 carries, as Oklahoma ended the Red Raiders’ undefeated run this season with a 38-30 win in Norman.
This means they now have to beat #8 Baylor in just under two weeks to get passed the toughest test they have left in hopes of finally getting back to the top of the Big 12, while also waiting for Texas to pick up their first conference loss. Despite losing to the Longhorns in the Red River Shootout, we haven’t seen something too special from Texas this season, indicating they have what it takes to coast through their conference schedule.
Even bigger than Bell might have been Oklahoma’s defense, forcing three turnovers. Two interceptions for freshman quarterback Davis Webb and another costly fumble from tight end Jace Amaro, which resulted in a touchdown on the next possession for Oklahoma. Oklahoma scored a touchdown after one of the interceptions as well.
Even bigger than the interceptions might have been the performance from wide receiver Jalen Saunders. He finished with 6 receptions for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the senior enjoyed his first 100+ yards game of the season and his biggest game since the loss to Notre Dame last year at home.
After all, the defense can’t be all that good when they gave up 460 yards to the creative as always offense we saw from Texas Tech. However, even without consistent stops, they came up with big plays that often trump consistency. Damien Williams had a strong performance on the ground as well, running for 97 yards on 19 carries, finding himself in the red zone twice.
Oklahoma might be heading back to the top 10 with this and will at least see a jump of three spots in the BCS standings. However, their biggest tests await them in November – first with playing Baylor on the road and ending the season in Bedlam against Oklahoma State, in a rivalry that’s become a lot closer than it used to be, threatening Oklahoma’s newly found sense of dominance once again.
It was very important because they have a great offense and we know they like to hurry up and get after it. Whenever the defense gave us a chance to get back on the field, we knew we had to capitalize and that’s exactly what we did. I’m proud of the running and passing game. We made a few huge plays on offense that won the game for us.