Phoenix staff reports
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell said he’d never experienced a cramp before Saturday. It’s what had him in terror when the pain shot through his left calf after an 11-yard run with about six minutes left in the third quarter.
“I just wanted to stop cramping. I was cramping the whole time,” Bell said.
The cramp forced Bell to go to the locker room, where he received fluids intravenously. Trevor Knight entered for six plays and drove the 54 yards, setting up Michael Hunnicutt’s 19-yard field goal.
Still, OU’s coaching staff was ticked Bell never said anything about the cramps at halftime.
“(Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel) was so mad like, really, you’re cramming? He said he’s never had a cramp,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “So obviously, it’s something we have to be more aware of moving on down the road here. Otherwise we could have gassed him up at halftime. For whatever reason, we didn’t. He didn’t tell anyone and we didn’t know it was an issue or we would have. We do that, you know.
“When guys are starting to have those feelings at halftime, we’ll load them up here and there. Not a bunch, but when the ones who need it, and we didn’t do it. That was an error on our part.”
One of the biggest plays of the fourth quarter was the targeting call on Notre Dame linebacker Ben Councell for a hit on OU running back Brennan Clay.
Notre Dame had a chance to get the ball back down 14 with decent field position and about 10 minutes to go. Instead, the Sooners got to run off another two minutes of clock.
The oddity was Clay, who spent about one minute on the turf after the hit, returned the game.
“I was probably the hardest hit I’ve taken since my freshman year, but you just have to shake it off,” Clay said. “It’s football.”
Clay was checked out by OU’s medical staff. Seven of his team-high 14 carries came after the hit.