Far be it from me to tell a coach with a BCS Championship ring he was wrong, but maybe Bob Stoops was wrong to go with Trevor Knight as his season opening quarterback instead of Blake Bell. After Bell led the Sooners to a 35-21 victory at Notre Dame, it appears as though Oklahoma’s offense has found an identity that involves having Bell under center.
Take a look at the numbers. After Saturday’s victory in South Bend, Bell has completed over 70 percent of his pass attempts and in the past two games since being named the starter Bell has thrown for over 600 yards and six touchdowns. Bell was 22-for-30 for 232 passing yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame, and he rushed for 59 yards. Meanwhile the Sooners have put up 86 points in the last two games and the offense seems to be finding a rhythm just in time for the thick of Big 12 play.
Things are starting to line up for Oklahoma as September draws to a close. The Sooners are 4-0 heading in to October once again and they already have one win in Big 12 play, against West Virginia. West Virginia, of course, already knocked off one of Oklahoma’s rivals, Oklahoma State, in Big 12 play. The Sooners are home next week to host TCU. If Oklahoma can win that game they should roll in to the Red River
Shootout Rivalry primed to deliver a devastating blow to Mack Brown and Texas, which is almost expected at this point.
Oklahoma has a tough November schedule with road games at Baylor and Oklahoma State, so piling up wins now is huge. Now that Oklahoma has found their offense, they can start to think about taking over the role of Big 12 favorite along the way.
Notre Dame now has two losses, which eliminates them from just about any shot at a return trip to the BCS Championship Game, and puts a real dent in to any potential BCS Bowl game plans. Remember, the Irish must still play Arizona State (next week in Cowboys Stadium), USC, and a regular season finale at Stanford. The Cardinal could potentially be playing for a spot in the BCS Championship Game, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Three losses would probably guarantee Notre Dame gets shut out of a BCS bowl, as the Irish will be likely to drop out of the polls with this loss.
Notre Dame had won 10 straight home games until losing to Oklahoma. The last team to beat the Irish in Notre Dame Stadium was USC, on October 22, 2011. The Irish still hold a decided edge in the all-time series against the Sooners, with a head-to-head record of 9-2 dating back to 1952. Oklahoma’s last win at Notre Dame came on October 27, 1956 with a 40-0 victory.