To no one’s surprise, Blake Bell’s big game against Tulsa has resulted in the junior quarterback being named the starter for Oklahoma’s game against Notre Dame in South Bend two weekends from now.
Bell started against the Golden Hurricane in place of an injured Trevor Knight and he responded with the best-ever debut (statistically, at least) by a Sooners quarterback. Bell completed 27 of 37 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns as OU beat Tulsa, 51-20.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops refused to go into detail about the shift at QB.
“I’m not going back to all of that,” Stoops said after the Tulsa game. “There’s no sense in rehashing all of that. (Bell) played really well today. He showed poise, consistency. He threw the ball great and was on the money. I didn’t detail it all when Trevor was the guy, either.”
Though he is known primarily as a runner, Bell didn’t get a chance to show it much against Tulsa. He gained just 24 yards on 10 carries against the Golden Hurricane. He rushed for 24 touchdowns, mostly in goal line situations, the past two seasons. Coming into the game, he had just 153 career passing yards, a total he surpassed by halftime of Saturday’s game.
If Bell starts clicking again as a runner while maintaining his prolific passing numbers, he could be on his way to a big season.
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”
If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.
On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa. The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.
Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.
Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team. He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.
With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.