Bell's experience will win the championship next year
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 01:02
Sam Houston State has been exposed, dissected and dismembered by scouts and tapes evaluating Brian Bell and Timothy Flanders under Doug Ruse’s offensive scheme.
Only one team has managed to be successful: North Dakota State.
Consecutively the Bison have managed to comfortably handle SHSU’s evasive rush attack and seemingly uncontainable pass schemes. Although Bell has fallen short—three interceptions against NDSU cough, cough—he’s a leader.
As the Bearkats starting quarterback since 2011, Bell has led his squad to two Southland Conference titles and two trips to Frisco for the FCS Division I National Championship.
And yet, SHSU students castrate Bell.
Bell’s mobility outside the pocket and arm strength to surgically find Trey Diller and Chance Nelson in coverage accounted for 31 touchdowns and 2,715 yards in the air during the 2012 season. Ruse’s pass heavy playbook accommodated Bell’s ability to scan the secondary and connect with his receivers.
Although Diller’s hands and speed will be absent from the Bearkats’ arsenal, Chance Nelson, Richard Sincere and Torrance Williams will return for 2013.
With a new breed of NFL quarterbacks birthed from the BCS with the ability to outrun safeties and scramble for 40 yards consistently, Bell fits within the spectrum. Quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, Bell mimics their running capability to get outside the pocket and find seams to convert on third and long. His legs compensate for the interceptions Bell has been known to commit.
Bell’s break out game against SFA solidified his role as SHSU’s man under center.
Throwing for three touchdowns and scrambling for two against the Lumberjacks silenced Bell naysayers and revamped SHSU on a seven game winning streak closed out the conference schedule tied with Central Arkansas for a second conference title.
Inconsistency and late game interceptions against Baylor, Texas A&M and NDSU have raised the question of Bell’s ability as an efficient quarterback. But as the post-season progressed, Bell’s quarterback efficiency climbed on national television.
Going into spring, Bell still remains as the top quarterback for Willie Fritz and the Bearkats. Two conference titles and two appearances at the national championship override any raw talent any incoming freshman out of high school brings. Seasoned quarterbacks, who are familiar with the offensive scheme, are able to keep composure in high profile games and are less likely to botch assignments late in the game.
What will get Bell his title ring will be his ability to reduce interceptions in the fourth quarter and establish first quarter momentum.