A few things we learned
NORMAN, Okla. - There are more than a few things we learned about 48 hours after Oklahoma's week-three win over Tulsa.
We might not have any clue what will ultimately happen to Walter White, but here are three things we can take from the Sooners as they head into a bye week before playing at Notre Dame on Sept. 28;
1 Blake Bell can pass
It's OK, no one knew, and if anyone says they did, they're lying. Bell had attempted fewer passes the past two seasons than he had touchdown runs (24) until Saturday's explosion against Tulsa. Bell was sensational, and with it, he established himself as the stater in a season where it didn't look like OU was very settled.
Remember, Bell lost out to freshman Trevor Knight in August practice, but Bell replaced Knight in the fourth quarter of last week's win over West Virginia. He threw it just once in that game, but he threw it four times on the opening drive against Tulsa. Bell finished 27-of-37 for 413 yards and four touchdowns. The 413 yards passing was the most by anyone in school history in a first start, and that includes Sam Bradford, Jason White, Landry Jones and Josh Heupel.
We also learned the OU offense looked similar under Bell as it had under the previous pass-happy quarterbacks, and that was a situation almost no one envisioned .Bell threw short and long and showed poise in the pocket. It was the kind of offense OU coaches had promised in the preseason but Knight couldn't deliver.
2. Give em the ball, and the OU receivers are pretty good
Ten receivers caught passes, Sterling Shepard made eight catches for a career-best 123 yards. Jaz Reynolds had his best game in two seasons with four catches, including an 82-yarder and Jalen Saunders and Roy Finch each caught a touchdown pass confirming that when these guys get a chance, they're really effective.
Heading into the game against Tulsa, OU's leading receiver was Saunders. He had a total of seven catches. After Bell completed 27 passes, spreading the ball around, the OU offense became more than just one-dimensional and that's totally necessary heading into a game at Notre Dame.
3. This team is good enough to win at Notre Dame
No, this is not an over-reaction to Notre Dame struggling against Purdue. No, this isn't an over-reaction to OU finding its way on offense.
This team was good enough to win at Notre Dame even before Saurday's games, but those games did help clear up the picture.
The Sooner defense is much improved, the Sooner run game is also improved, thanks to a pair of new hires for the offensive and defensive lines.
The addition of Bell at quarterback doesn't put OU into the national title picture, but what it does is not kick the Sooners out of the discussion either. Is OU good enough to keep up with Alabama and Oregon? Probably not, at this point, but can OU keep up with Notre Dame?