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August 21, 2012

HD: Blake Bell named the team's No. 2 QB

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Bob Stoops named sophomore Blake Bell the team's backup quarterback over junior Drew Allen Tuesday evening. Bell is well-known for his role as the Sooners' short-yardage quarterback, which has been dubbed 'The Belldozer'.

Bell was also named as the Insight Bowl's offensive MVP following the Sooners' 31-14 win over Iowa last December.

That's where we'll proceed from here," said Stoops. "Drew has also done a really good job and made great improvement. I just feel like Blake's been more consistent overall and he's playing the way we need him to.

"Drew is getting there and he'll still continue to battle. He's had a great attitude and continues to work hard also. We'll just take it from there as we go through the year."

Last season, Stoops never officially named a backup quarterback as it was just assumed Allen had the experience, while Bell seemed to be lacking in that area as a redshirt freshman. But through the spring and fall practices, Bell closed the gap between the two, and surpassed the older Allen.

"It's been a constant. He's constantly gotten better," said quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel. "But I think he felt a lot more comfortable grasping our offense and knowing what we were doing defensively and where he needed to go with the ball and he became better working through his progressions and it came easier for him and he's gotten smarter and smarter."

Bell didn't win the job because he was the quarterback of the Belldozer offense in 2011. Bell won the backup job because he has progressed more than any other quarterback on the roster in running the same offense Landry Jones is running.

If Bell enters the game, don't expect the Sooners to switch to the Belldozer as their main offense. They'll continue to throw the ball as much as they ever have.

Stoops was even asked if he would continue running the Belldozer if/when Bell becomes his starting quarterback.

"We'd use our main quarterback (in both offenses)," said Stoops. "We wouldn't do it as much as other people do it but we'd sneak some runs in here and there."

As for Allen, Heupel was asked about his future at Oklahoma now that he's been passed by a younger quarterback on the depth chart.

"It's tough for him but guys who have stayed the course have had opportunity come to them," he said.

The Sooners enter the 2012 season with five quarterback on scholarship. Jones, Bell, Allen, redshirt freshman Kendal Thompson and true freshman Trevor Knight.

Stoops had plenty of praise for all his quarterbacks Tuesday.

"Kendal's doing a nice job," he said. "He's really excellent in the way he's working and doing things."

According to Stoops, Knight is running the OU scout team with game week preparations underway.

"Love him. He's really doing well," said Stoops of Knight. "An excellent young man and the last couple of days the scout work we did, he couldn't have been better. He's just really doing well."

For now, Sooner fans have their next quarterback to root on at OU. It hasn't happened this way in the Stoops era where a sophomore has been named the heir apparent before the start of a season. But Stoops decided this was the way he wanted it done this time around.

"You wanted to know and we made a decision so it's time to say we made a decision," said Stoops. "Otherwise you guys would be mad at me if I didn't tell you."




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