Landry Jones' fumble into the end zone was a flat out disaster. Yesterday we broke down the play to show you just how bad it was. That said, it was something that Oklahoma could have overcome. In fact, they actually were on the verge of overcoming it when the second crucial mistake of the night was made.
At the 9:35 mark of the second quarter, the Sooners face second and goal from the KSU 1, trailing 7-3.
After Kansas State took a 7-3 lead off Landry Jones' fumble the Sooners responded by moving the ball 58 yards to the KSU one yard line in just seven plays. Needing to punch it in to regain the lead, and the momentum, Oklahoma called upon the Belldozer to get the job done.
This formation is designed specifically for short yardage situations and this one yard should have been a cinch. The Belldozer has been so effective that it is almost routine for the Sooners. It's a formation that needs to grow and be adjusted a bit in my opinion because no one respects Bell's passing ability. Look at how Kenny Stills is covered at the bottom of the screen. He's lined up to the inside, as he should be, but his shoulders and hips are turned in towards the backfield though to play the run all the way.
That's a side point though and this clearly should have been a score for the Sooners. Even Bell knew that...and there's the problem.
In an effort to read the blocks and take the one-yard plunge into the end zone, Bell forgot to do one crucial thing. He forgot to get the snap. Not only did he not get a handle on the snap he has no idea where the ball is. There he in dropped to his knees looking for the ball without even a clue that its actually on the ground behind him.
If there is a fatal flaw in the Belldozer formation then its right here. The motion of the play leaves him in the backfield all alone should he fumble the snap. The blocking schemes set up in such a way that the middle is pounded to plunge Bell through for a yard gain. The only thing Bell has to do in order to make this play work is receive the snap.
Bell doesn't get a pass here in my book. Yes, Landry's fumble was catastrophic but Blake's was every bit as much as well. I've actually heard some Oklahoma fans try to blame this fumble on the center but this is clearly on Blake Bell. You see the photo above? That's the ball falling between Bell's legs after it has already fallen from his hands.
I believe that the ceiling is extremely high for Bell but he's got to do better than this. All he's ever done at Oklahoma is get the snap and run forward. This is as basic and simple as it gets for him and yet he muffs the play at one of the most crucial moments of the game. Sure he's got fire and passion but apparently he's also got butterfingers.
Instead of Oklahoma taking a 10-7 lead on this play the Wildcats gain possession of the ball and turn it into a field goal drive. There's no doubt in my mind that Oklahoma wins this game if Bell scores. Instead, it's a ten point swing for Kansas State. Even so, the Sooners don't lose the game on this play. That's coming in the third quarter.
Stay tuned for part III