Blake Bell Wasn't OU's 1st Choice to Win Bedlam, but He Turned out the Best

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterDecember 7, 2013

Oklahoma's only offensive touchdown against Oklahoma State came with 19 seconds left in the game. 

That's when quarterback Blake Bell connected with receiver Jalen Saunders for a seven-yard touchdown to put the Sooners up 27-24.

It could have come with nine seconds left. Or 0.9. It wouldn't have made a difference. The only thing that mattered to Oklahoma was that it gave the Sooners the lead.

Oklahoma went on to beat the Pokes 33-24. 

Of all the Bedlam game wins under head coach Bob Stoops, Saturday's may have been the most unlikely. The Sooners came into the day as double-digit underdogs, according to VegasInsider.com, and they were already eliminated from Big 12 title contention. 

Oklahoma State had won seven in a row and was eyeing a second Fiesta Bowl appearance in three years. 

Things didn't look any more promising for Oklahoma when starting quarterback Trevor Knight left the game right before the half with a shoulder injury. If nothing else, he had provided the Sooners offense with an identity and some consistency. 

Oklahoma's offense regressed when Stoops replaced Knight with Kendal Thompson, who was oddly asked to throw the ball way more than he should have been. His skill set more closely resembles Knight's, which is best suited for zone-read and option-based running attacks. 

Stoops then turned to Bell, who had started eight games for Oklahoma. The redshirt junior may not have been Oklahoma's first choice to beat Oklahoma State, but he turned out to be the best. 

He ended the day 10-of-16 for 140 yards. Half of those attempts came on the game-winning drive with under two minutes remaining. Bell went 6-of-8 on that drive and made some crucial first-down throws. And a near interception, for anyone wondering. 

Would Knight or Thompson have been able to mount that kind of drive? It's impossible to tell. The only thing for certain is that Bell, who has had his tough moments as a starter, stepped up with his arm when he was needed. 

As David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest notes, it was an odd day for an Oklahoma victory. 

Now, Oklahoma has another season of at least 10 wins under Stoops in his 11th year with the program. And according to CBS Sports' Jerry Palm, Oklahoma's BCS at-large hopes are still very much alive

The quarterback rotation and injuries to the defense made this season one of Stoops' most impressive coaching jobs. Knocking off the top team in the conference on the road with three quarterbacks only solidifies that fact. 

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