On the first play of Oklahoma's third drive of the third quarter, Sooners quarterback Blake Bell started limping around after an incomplete pass.
Still trying to shake the cramp out of his leg, Bell took off running on the next play, gaining 11 yards for a first down, then hobbled around some more.
“Dude, are you all right?” Sooners center Gabe Ikard asked.
Bell yelled that he was cramping, then dropped to his back.
After being attended to by trainers, Bell first was helped toward the locker room, then took off in a jog toward the tunnel as the cramp finally worked out.
Bell was given intravenous fluids and returned for the Sooners next drive after Trevor Knight took over to help lead OU to a field goal.
“Coach (Josh) Heupel was so mad, like ‘really, you're cramping?' He said he's never had a cramp,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “Obviously it's something we have to be more aware of moving down the road here.
“Otherwise, we could've gassed him up at halftime. For whatever reason, we didn't.”
BELL, SHEPARD CONNECT
After Bell returned, he went right back to work, completing all three of his passes on the first drive of the fourth quarter — finishing with a 54-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Sterling Shepard.
“I was trying to do that the whole game,” Shepard said. “I knew it was going to come. I just have to be patient. It came. When I caught the ball, I just tried to get into the end zone.”
That seems simple but earlier in the week co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell talked about his players needing to get upfield quickly instead of trying to be too fancy.
The play came out of a double-tight end, one-back formation.
“When you can run the football in those sets, people have to start trickling down from the secondary to stop the run,” Stoops said. “Generally, you can find some space to make big plays.”
Shepard's catch was the longest of his career.
CLAY SHAKEN UP, COUNCELL TOSSED
Sooners running back Brennan Clay was coming across the middle for a third-down pass early in the fourth quarter when, as the ball bounced off Clay's fingertips, he was hit facemask-to-facemask by Irish linebacker Ben Councell.
Councell was flagged for targeting and ejected without a review of the play.
Councell must sit out the first half of next week's game in Arlington, Texas, against Arizona State.