But through Bell's two starts, he's recorded 22 carries, including an 11-yard quarterback draw that left him on his back with a painful leg cramp. The run came after Bell had limped to the line of scrimmage.
For all the Sooners' offense did well Saturday, it wasn't great on third-down conversions — OU converted only five of 14 attempts — or red-zone offense. The Sooners scored a touchdown on just one of their four trips inside the Notre Dame 20-yard line.
After Bell returned from receiving an IV in the locker room for his cramps, he led Oklahoma on a 5-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 54-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard that all but put the game out of reach for Notre Dame.
“It's like a legend,” said senior center Gabe Ikard, one of Bell's roommates. “It's like the legend of the Belldozer. … He's like a folk hero. He just goes out, and then all of a sudden comes back and throws a strike to Shep for a touchdown. He was battling today.
“He got some tough yards with his feet and took some big hits.”
The legend of the Belldozer is giving way to a different Blake Bell, one who manage the offense efficiently, make key throws and limit mistakes.
But if Bell is going to carry the ball in short-yardage situations anyway — or while he's cramping, for that matter — why wouldn't Oklahoma coaches protect him with extra blockers in the backfield?