Oklahoma quarterback was on verge of being benched before big throw

The throw that saved Blake Bell's job and the Sooners' Big 12 title hopes (for now):

Trailing Texas Tech 7-0 early in the 2nd quarter, OU was backed up near its own goal line and facing a 3rd and 7. Trevor Knight was captured by Fox cameras, warming up his arm. And that's when Blake Bell saved his job.

The junior from Wichita, who was tremendous in his first two starts against Tulsa and Notre Dame, but has struggled ever since, dropped back, stepped up and fired the kind of pass that we all came to take for granted when Sam Bradford and Landry Jones were slinging it around Owen Field for the past half-decade.

Jalen Saunders hauled in the toss and took it for 20 yards, and the Sooners were off and running. 16 plays and 97 yards later, the game was tied.

A couple minutes after that, Bell and Saunders connected again; this time for a 76 yard touchdown.

Bell finished the game attempting only 22 passes. The kid ain't Bradford or Jones and never will be, but this Sooners offense isn't winning a Big 12 title with an offense still wearing training wheels.

Bell will have to step up and make some big-time throws in every game the rest of the way, starting with undefeated Baylor, next Thursday.

It won't always be pretty, but Bell really is a pretty good game manager. Capable of making a few big plays with his feet and a few more with his arm. Will he be able to make enough against the nation's highest-scoring offense, next week in Waco??

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