Bell TD pushes Oklahoma to win over Baylor

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NORMAN, Okla. -- Blake Bell was just waiting for his shot.
Three times through the first three quarters, the Oklahoma Sooners brought out the Belldozer package with Bell at quarterback.
Each time, though, a penalty negated the need for it and Bell came off for Landry Jones without running a play.
When he finally got a chance to carry the ball, though, Bell took advantage, running for a 55-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to help the No. 12 Sooners beat the Baylor Bears 42-34 in front of 84,945 at Owen Field on Saturday night.
? "After sitting over there for a couple quarters, you want to take advantage when you're out there," Bell said. "All of the sudden, I'm in the open and think someone's going to get me but they never did."
Baylor coach Art Briles compared Bell's run to John Riggins'? 43-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XVII.
? "That was third-and-a-yard and his (Riggins') was fourth-and-a-yard,"?Briles said. "But when those situations happen, everyone condenses up the line of scrimmage, and if you ever break the line of scrimmage because of the coverage on the outside, you've got a chance to go the distance."?
It was Bell's fifth career touchdown run against the Bears. He ran for four in Oklahoma's loss to Baylor last season.
Baylor cut the lead to eight with 1:26 left, though it used nearly five minutes to get the score and the Sooners recovered the onside-kick try to seal the win.
? "It was a tough night defensively in a lot of areas," Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "We never could grasp the run game."?
Baylor ran for 252 yards and put up 424 yards of total offense.
Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12) kept itself alive in the conference title race going into next week's game at West Virginia.
Baylor (4-5, 1-5) faces an uphill climb to get bowl-eligible.
While Bell's blow was the biggest, the Sooners had plenty more offensive highlights against a Baylor defense that has struggled this season.
Jones passed for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Damien Williams ran for a pair of touchdowns and Brennan Clay scored twice and made a big play on special teams to help the Sooners avoid the upset.
? "About the only disappointment was the fumble," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said, referring to a turnover early in the third quarter. "I thought offensively the balance was what we wanted."?
With the win, Stoops passed Bud Wilkinson for second on the all-time Sooners victory list with 146. Barry Switzer holds the Sooners record with 157 wins.
? "What coach Wilkinson did is absolutely amazing," Stoops said. "The win streak is just really incredible. I don't believe it will ever be touched again.
? "I don?t look at numbers. It's not me. I'm a long way from sitting in a rocking chair and reflecting on it."?
Wilkinson coached the Sooners from 1947-1963, guiding them to three national championships and a still-record 47-game winning streak.
Clay, who was buried on the depth chart early in the season behind Williams and Dominique Whaley, came through for a second consecutive week.
Clay caught Jones' first touchdown pass and ran for a score in the first quarter.
His biggest play, though, came in the closing seconds of the first half after Baylor scored to cut Oklahoma's advantage to 21-17 with 32 seconds left in the first half.
Clay returned the kick to the Baylor 45 and, two plays later, Jones hit Penn State transfer Justin Brown for a 35-yard touchdown.
?"That play was real important," Brown said of Clay's return that set up his score. "Whenever you have a spark in the special teams like that, it gets the whole team fired up."?
NOTES: Baylor's Aaron Jones hit a 58-yard field goal in the first quarter, kicking with a strong wind. His previous career long was 50. ... Sooners center Gabe Ikard missed the game due to a head injury. Freshman Ty Darlington started in his place. ... Jones moved into 10th place on the NCAA career touchdown pass list with his first touchdown pass. He also moved into fourth in NCAA history in career passing yards. ... Baylor's late second-quarter scoring drive was the longest of the season for the Bears in time at 5:45 and the longest in plays given up by the Sooners at 17. ... Bell's 55-yard run was the longest by an Oklahoma quarterback since Patrick Fletcher had a 58-yard run in 1998. ... The sell-out was the Sooners' 85th consecutive, setting a program record.

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