Good things that come to those who wait, especially in the case of Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell.
Bell sat for three years behind Landry Jones and two games behind Trevor Knight, but when he finally had his first chance, he exploded for the best statistical debut by a quarterback in OU history.
Now, the redshirt junior will carry on as the Sooners' starter as they take on No. 22 Notre Dame on Sept. 28 in South Bend, Ind., as reported by The Associated Press (via The Sporting News, h/t Chris Huston of College Football Talk).
The Wichita, Kan. native acted as a running quarterback in a jumbo package backing up Jones, which earned him the nickname "Belldozer."
It was assumed that Bell would be the starter in 2013, but he was usurped by freshman Trevor Knight during the offseason. Bell had to wait even longer until Knight suffered a knee injury amidst a poor performance against West Virginia. He entered for Knight and helped lead the Sooners to a 16-7 victory.
The next week, he finally received his first chance to start against Tulsa and seized the opportunity in a big way.
Bell completed 27-of-37 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns, breaking an OU record for the most passing yards by a first-time starting quarterback.
The AP report quoted Bell afterward, who relished in his fantastic first start:
It was awesome. I had a great time first of all, just getting out there and playing ball, there's nothing better. . The only thing I wanted to do was be ready. I didn't want to not be ready for this game. I felt like I did that. I felt like I played well out there.
Head coach Bob Stoops was also quoted afterward, saying that it was obvious that Bell would start against Notre Dame:
That's pretty obvious. So much for your controversy right now. It didn't last long. You can't deny what he just went out and did. I'm proud of him and excited for him. It also speaks to his character. Here's a guy that was ready for it — never got down, never changed his attitude. He got his chance and he took great advantage of it.
Prior to his outstanding start against Tulsa, Bell hadn't thrown a single touchdown pass and had only tallied 115 yards through the air. However, he had 372 rushing yards to his name and a gaudy 24 rushing touchdowns.
He will be matched up against Notre Dame's Tommy Rees in his first duel against a BCS-level foe. That game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. EDT kickoff on Sept. 28 and will be broadcast on NBC.