Q&A with Joe Bendiez of StorminInNorman.com


With the Oklahoma game fast approaching tomorrow, I exchanged some questions with Joe Bendiez over at StorminInNorman.com for his weekly segment 5 Burning Questions. You can see those questions and my answers here.

Nov 10, 2012; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of the game against the Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Sooners won 42 – 34. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

In the spirit of cooperation, I decided to ask Joe a set of 5 questions from the WVU fan perspective in preparation for tomorrow’s showdown in Morgantown. Here’s what Bendiez had to say:

1. Oklahoma’s run defense got lit up by Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk and company for 252 yards and 4 touchdowns. What was the problem with defending the run last week and will there be any hangover from that game this Saturday?

Oklahoma’s run defense has struggled in comparison to the secondary this season. They really have not done a great job of getting in the backfield enough, but with linebacker Tom Wort starting to come back on a bit, I would expect the Sooners to bounce back against WVU. They’ve really focused on containing each opponent’s air attack, but I would expect Mike Stoops to really let the dogs loose Saturday against Geno.

2. Landry Jones was projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in college football this season, but has not lived up to his billing. He is a pretty good quarterback, but he is no longer considered elite. What has been the biggest problem for him this season?

The biggest problem for Landry is his consistency. We all know he’s capable of having great games, but Jones can self-destruct quite easily. He loses confidence in himself and forgets what made him considered one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He has had some good games this season, but you can always count on once or twice to make a head-scratching pass that gets intercepted or nearly does. To be honest, Landry will need a career game if Oklahoma wants to win in Morgantown.

3. Similar question for you, outside of Landry Jones and Kenny Stills, who is the one Sooner that the Mountaineers defense should be most concerned about?

The WVU defense should pay attention to Justin Brown. He has made a big impact after transferring from Penn State in August and brings a lot of experience to a young Sooner wide receiving corps. Brown has a good set of hands and can kill you in the passing game, but has been a threat as a punt returner as well. Brown has made plenty of big plays this season, and has taken plenty of pressure off Kenny Stills this season.

4. Oklahoma has taken a page out of the 2006 Florida Gators playbook this year. Blake Bell has gotten a ton of looks in the redzone in the “Belldozer” package. Many analysts have already started drawing comparisons between Bell and Tim Tebow. So there are two questions here: a.) is Bell a capable passer? and b.) does Bell have a signautre pose like the once popular “Tebowing?”

a) From what we’ve seen, Bell can pass the ball. Not sure if he is anymore effective than Jones, because it is such a small sample size. However, I would not be surprised if Heupel tried to trick the Mountaineer defense and let Bell throw some out of the formation Saturday.

b) I don’t know if he has a signature pose, other than standing up right for an hour before he takes off for the endzone, however, after every touchdown, his celebration is always the same. Bell signals the crowd as if to honk their horn. Not sure if that’s the best way to describe, but he always does it and it has become his go-to celebration.

5. Is there any added motivation for Oklahoma to take down the Mountaineers given the recent somewhat recent history (see the 2008 Fiesta Bowl)?

There has to be some motivation for maybe Bob Stoops, but no current player was around for that Fiesta Bowl. I’m sure fans will want to get some revenge, but OU should be more concerned with getting a BCS Bowl bid this season, rather than what happened almost five years ago.

To see more of Joe Bendiez and his coverage of Sooner athletics, check out StorminInNorman.com or follow him on Twitter @StorminInNorman.