Analyzing Oklahoma's Belldozer Formation: 3rd And Short

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Blake Bell #10 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores on a 4 yard rushing touchdown against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first quarter of the Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The running game of Oklahoma has lacked a power back for several years now. In an attempt to gain yardage on the short downs, the Sooners saw a major drop off in production. That was until the implementation of Blake Bell in the "Belldozer" Formation. There seemed to be a new hope specifically in the Redzone as Bob Stoops had finally found an answer to the woes of the fans. Now, here we sit, a year later. All the hype surrounding Bell has returned heading into the 2012 season and Dominique Whaley should be at full strength. This could be a formidable force on the ground. While I am a big fan of the formation along with the news that wrinkles that will be thrown in this season, I decided to take a look at the numbers. Quite frankly, I was surprised at the findings and have begun to question if this is the solution at all.

Date Opponent Surface Result 3rd Down Attempts 3rd Down Conversions Conversion %
09/03/11 Tulsa Grass W 47-14 19 11 57.89
09/17/11 @ 23 Florida St. Grass W 23-13 12 4 33.33
09/24/11 Missouri Grass W 38-28 12 5 41.67
10/01/11 Ball St. Grass W 62-6 12 5 41.67
10/08/11 + Texas Grass W 55-17 15 8 53.33
10/15/11 @ Kansas Turf W 47-17 16 7 43.75
10/22/11 Texas Tech Grass L 38-41 17 5 29.41
10/29/11 @ 15 Kansas St. Turf W 58-17 10 7 70.00
11/05/11 Texas A&M Grass W 41-25 21 9 42.86
11/19/11 @ 13 Baylor Turf L 38-45 14 6 42.86
11/26/11 Iowa St. Grass W 26-6 19 6 31.58
12/03/11 @ 3 Oklahoma St. Turf L 10-44 15 4 26.67
12/30/11 + Iowa Grass W 31-14 12 4 33.33
Totals 194 81 41.75
@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

It is clear that the most successful 3rd down conversion game came with the installment of the "Belldozer" against the Kansas St. Wildcats. After the conclusion of that game, the Sooners never acheived the same level of success. But, it does not paint the entire picture as some of those third down attempts following the Kansas St. game were taken by Landry Jones or one of the running backs. In order for us to see exactly what Blake Bell was capable of when following Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowsi through the hole, these other attempts need to be stripped away.

Oklahoma recorded 194 total attempts at converting the 3rd down with 55 coming by way of the ground. But the more critical stat we are looking for comes down to how many of those rushing attempts were taken on 3rd and short (1-3 yards)? That number significantly drops to only 37 attempts on the season.

Now, we know Bell did not take all the snaps as he was not a factor in the early going. So exactly how many of those snaps went to Bell? Out of the total 37 total attempts, only 14 were carried by Bell in a 3rd and short situation. On those 14 attempts, the Belldozer successfully converted on the play 7 times giving him a 50% success rate.

Overall, how did Oklahoma stack up against the conference in this situational stat line?

Name G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ Conversion %
1 Texas 13 47 293 6.23 3 55 37 9 78.72%
2 Texas A&M 13 36 196 5.44 2 34 27 5 75%
3 Kansas State 13 50 214 4.28 6 47 34 6 68%
4 Texas Tech 12 44 135 3.07 5 10 30 2 68.18%
5 Oklahoma State 12 40 239 5.98 6 62 26 8 65%
6 Missouri 12 30 101 3.37 4 20 19 3 63.33%
7 Iowa State 12 41 167 4.07 4 71 25 3 60.97%
8 Baylor 12 47 146 3.11 4 22 28 5 59.57%
9 Kansas 11 41 136 3.32 1 23 24 3 58.53%
10 Oklahoma 12 37 97 2.62 3 11 20 1 54.05%
1st: First Downs; 10+: Rush attempts of 10 or more yards

The bottom of the barrel is not where I expected to find the Sooners. However, that is precisely where they landed. It gives validation to the concerns but I am beginning to question if Belldozer is the answer at the 50% mentioned above. In order to compete with the top defenses in the nation, this number must increase while the tough yards are what is going to keep a drive alive.

On the flip side, the redeeming factor was 4th down for the Belldozer which tallied up 61 total yards on 5 attempts giving him an average of 12.20 yards per carry...all of which converted the first down.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Crimson And Cream Machine

You must be a member of Crimson And Cream Machine to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Crimson And Cream Machine. You should read them.

Join Crimson And Cream Machine

You must be a member of Crimson And Cream Machine to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Crimson And Cream Machine. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker