Texas needs to take notes from Texas Christian on how to stop Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell. Sure, the Horned Frogs still lost, but the score was just 20-17. Their defense was extremely effective in stopping the Belldozer.
Blake Bell's longest completion of the night was for 19 yards. #Sooners averaged 4.9 yards per attempt.— John Shinn (@john_shinn) October 6, 2013
While Bell was able to complete 20 of his 31 passes for a completion percentage of 64.5 percent, they limited him to just 151 yards passing to go along with just 61 yards rushing on 14 carries. They also didn't allow him to score a touchdown on the ground or through the air.
The biggest thing that Texas Christian did to stop Bell from making any huge plays through the air was limit the yards gained after the catch and big play. The longest throw for Bell was just 19 yards to Lacoltan Bester.
Don't Let Them Get a Big Play
Against Notre Dame, Blake Bell threw touchdowns of 26 and 54 yards for his two passes over 20 yards. Against Tulsa, Bell completed passes of 82, 41, 29, 44, 35 and 25 yards for a total of six passes over 20 yards. However, in the Texas Christian game, they limited his big plays to not a single pass over 20 yards.
By doing this, they made it tough for Oklahoma to get a huge lead and play from in front the whole game. Had Brennan Clay not broken a 76-yard touchdown towards the end of the game, there's no telling whether the Sooners would have even beaten the Horned Frogs.
Will Texas stop the Belldozer?
Most of Bell's big plays are shorter passes like screens and slants that the receiver helps the numbers out with a ton of yards after the catch. And the best way to stop these passes is to press the receivers at the line and force them off of their timing.
The minute a team focuses too much on minimizing yards after catch by press coverages is the minute they risk the big plays over the top. And while Bell doesn't have the strongest arm, a combination of press coverage and a deep safety pair would make it extremely tough on him as a passer.
This is what Texas Christian did to him to limit him deep and minimize the yards after the catch. Let's hope that Texas can learn what to do from their amphibian friends in Ft. Worth. Otherwise, the 2013 Red River Rivalry game will be a long one for the Longhorns.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.