Oklahoma football: How the Sooners finally vanquished Notre Dame

COMMENTARY — If Oklahoma's 35-21 victory over Notre Dame wasn't significant, then what was Bob Stoops doing posing for post-game pictures in South Bend with his wife and mother?
by Berry Tramel Modified: September 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm •  Published: September 28, 2013


photo - Oklahoma's Blake Bell (10) looks to pass in the fourth quarter during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. OU won, 35-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Blake Bell (10) looks to pass in the fourth quarter during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. OU won, 35-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

* A 26-yard touchdown pass to LaColtan Bester to end the first half, giving OU a 21-7 lead, on a play in which Bell drifted out of the pocket to buy more time, then threw back to the other side of the field.

* A 54-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard on a crucial third-and-3 early in the fourth quarter, after Notre Dame had drawn within 27-21.

“Obviously, Notre Dame, on the road, in South Bend, is a dream come true for a lot of guys,” said Bell, who just might be quarterbacking a top-10 team when the polls are released Sunday.

“Feels great, just for the program and all the people that are part of the University of Oklahoma. It's great getting a W and bringing it back to Norman.”

Bell has no idea about the travails of Eddie Crowder and Buddy Leake and Bobby Warmack, Sooner QBs who lost to the Irish over the years. Maybe not even Bell's own coordinator, Josh Heupel, who quarterbacked that 1999 defeat in South Bend.

But Bell knows he and his pals did something memorable.

“It feels great for the program and a lot of players who have played here,” Bell said.

Stoops said he never wanted his players to bear the burden of Notre Dame dominance. And that's fair. This victory means more for the future than it does the past. This victory means the Sooners can make things interesting the next two months in a woeful Big 12. It's not kooky to think of OU as a BCS contender come November.

But Stoops knows his team made a lot of fans happy. Happier than normal for a big victory.

“I'm glad for the older Oklahomans that have been through all those games, that we get some level of satisfaction winning this one,” Stoops said. “Who knows when we'll play again? So they can live it up and say, ‘we got you last,' until we go again.”

Stoops has the picture to prove it.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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