3 things to know about Blake 'Belldozer' Bell, Oklahoma's tank of a QB

Brett Deering

Will the Baylor Bears be able to contain Blake Bell, the Belldozer?

1. He's kind of like a defensive end playing quarterback, and we mean that as a compliment.

Blake Bell stands 6'6 and weighs 252. That means he weighs more than Nikita Whitlock, the Wake Forest nose tackle who might be the best interior defensive lineman in the country.

And it fits, pedigree-wise! Bell's dad, Mark, was a defensive end with the Seahawks and Chiefs, and his uncle, Mike, was also a defensive end with the Chiefs.

Bell has rushed for 245 yards this year after backing up Landry Jones and serving as a goal-line quarterback -- yes, it's sometimes tricky not to make Tim Tebow comparisons.

2. He had to fight for his job.

In a shocking move, Oklahoma named the more conventional Trevor Knight its starter for its opener against Louisiana-Monroe, but Knight was injured during the Sooners' win against West Virginia. Bell took over, and hasn't looked back since.

Bell was a highly-touted recruit coming out of Kansas, and made a name for himself as a short-yardage rusher over his first two season with the Sooners, scoring an astounding 24 touchdowns over his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

His passing game was suspect, but Bell put may of those concerns to rest in his first start, when he averaged 11.2 yards per attempt and threw four touchdowns against zero interceptions in a dominating win (and a record-setting performance) over Tulsa.

However, he's been rocky since then, especially against the quality defenses of TCU and the rebuilt Texas, against whom he threw two of his three interceptions as a starter. (Sooners fans pin a lot of that on the game plan.) Which Bell will we get Thursday night?

3. He's quite the matchup problem for defenses.

As you might expect, it's not easy to prepare for someone built like a hybrid defensive end/linebacker who can also throw the ball deep. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said Bell is a tough matchup because the Sooners can design plays where he can either run or pass. Oklahoma won that game, 35-21, thanks to two Bell touchdowns and a combined 291 total yards from the quarterback.

Bell causes particular problems because of the spread offense Oklahoma utilizes. By spreading the field, defenders are forced to leave quite a lot of space open up the middle for Bell to simply run up the middle for a big gain, but if they try and adjust he has the arm power to throw it over their heads for a score. Baylor hasn't had to deal with an offensive weapon as unorthodox as Bell, and they could run into some problems Thursday night.

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