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Snap Judgments: Notre Dame 30, Oklahoma 13

Oct 28, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT

Notre Dame v Oklahoma Getty Images

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Notre Dame gave up its first rushing touchdown of the season, when 6-foot-6, 260-pound Blake Bell shook off Ishaq Williams and rumbled forward, running through Bennett Jackson on his way to a touchdown.

Ah, but the good news… It was nothing but gravy after that for No. 5 Notre Dame, who put a physical beating on No. 8 Oklahoma, a team favored by as much as 13 points right before kickoff.

Let’s run through some snap judgments before we get deeper later tonight.


No George Atkinson, no big deal.

Sure, the Irish missed Atkinson’s big play potential, but Cam McDaniel did just fine on the kickoff returns. The Irish won the game thanks to their two primary running backs, Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. Wood’s 62-yard touchdown run broke open the game, when it appeared that the Irish were on their heels after the Sooners started quick. Riddick iced the game with his 15 yard touchdown run, and ran hard between the tackles, gaining 74 yards on 19 tough carries.

In a game like this, Atkinson was a guy that was likely going to get lost in the wash, with special teams the primary place he was going to make an impact. But in a 17 point victory, it’s tough to say anybody was missing.

Sooners brought tempo, but Irish had the answers.

Oklahoma came out blazing, running the offense with efficiency, moving quickly and taking advantage of soft underneath coverage throughout. Landry Jones completed 35 of 51 passes for 356 yards, and he continued to target Jalen Saunders underneath, racking up a ridiculous 15 catches for 181 yards.

But when it came down to it, the Irish had the answers in the red zone, forcing field goals instead of touchdowns and doing a great job from the end of the first quarter until the fourth, when the Sooners punted five times and got one field goal.

Against their biggest test, Notre Dame’s defense came up huge.

Belldozer scored, but the Sooners running game got stuffed.

With fourth and short and Blake Bell on the field, Bob Stoops had his sledgehammer of a quarterback throw for the first down. Sure it led to a touchdown, but perhaps it showed more than the Sooners’ head coach was willing to acknowledge.

Notre Dame absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage, outgaining Oklahoma 215-15 on the ground. Sure, Bell got his rushing touchdown. But Notre Dame absolutely dominated the Sooners on the ground, taking control of the game and the clock and never giving it back.

Everett Golson grew up tonight.

We said it all week. If Notre Dame was going to win, Everett Golson had to play his best game in a Notre Dame uniform. And he did.

The stats weren’t staggering: 13 of 25 passing for 177 yards, and 11 carries for 64 yards, but Golson was flawless. He threw the ball away, he commanded the offense and he made the big plays when they were needed.

Vegas was wrong.

You certainly can’t blame a town that’s probably built a few towers taking advantage of Irish fans’ optimism. But this was the Saturday that was supposed to be the reckoning. And instead, it plunged the Irish into the national title conversation.

The Irish took Oklahoma’s best shot, with the Sooners coming back to tie the game at 13 in the fourth quarter. But instead of laying down, they rattled off 17 straight points, running away from the Sooners, and ending any discussion about Notre Dame’s schedule or the Irish’s ability to play with the country’s premiere talent.


  1. norvturnersneck - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    This is what happens when you play physical, mostly mistake-free football, and smart too. Go Irish!

  2. glowplugv - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    After having watch Mark May roll his eyes and making fun of Coach Holtz on his prediction that ND would beat OU, I sure hope someone can post a video of what Coach Holtz does to him on the next show!

    • dickasman - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:22 AM

      Check out these cool nd wallpaper

    • tedlinko - Oct 28, 2012 at 6:04 AM

      May totally changed his tune on College Football Final tonight. Although he didn’t directly say he was wing,he was very complimentary of the Irish D. At least as much as he is capable of.

      • papadec - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:55 PM

        Yeah – and the three jokers on the BCS show were puking Irish compliments all over themselves, now that we’ve moved into the #3 spot.

    • mtb1996 - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      I can’t remember if it was before the season or in the first week or two, but Holtz brought a case for ESPN Gameday’s Final Verdict saying that ND would run the table and play for the national title. May and the rest of the football world probably thought he was nuts. He doesn’t sound so crazy now does he?

  3. gtizzo - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    ND should get a number of first place votes after this win.

    • ndfaithful - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      They would get mine. :)

  4. dutch31 - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Question for Kieth or anyone interested in responding. If ND runs the table are they in the title game regardless of any other results??? Tickets to Pro Player Stadium (or whatever its called now) will only get more expensive as time goes on!

    • yogihilt - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      Not if Ala, KSt or Oregon run table

    • ndfaithful - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      It all depends on the polls. The BCS ranking is made up of polls and computerized points. The polls influence it heavily. The best things that could happen would be LSU (or anyone else) beating Alabama. We can hope for USC knocking off Oregon, but Oregon will likely be behind the Irish at the end of the year if we win out.

      Then it comes down to the polls and style points. We’re definitely right in the thick of it.

  5. bearcatirishfan - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Seriously, why was mark may not forced to eat a bag of dicks after this game. What an a hole!

    • papadec - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:41 AM

      bear – Mark was too busy eating crow! Didn’t Mark play for Pitt? Isn’t Pitt next up for a beat down? Anyone seen the Trolls? Yoo-hoo Bigboi – come out, come out, where ever you are. See you next year in South Bend.

  6. irisheyesinsd - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    By the way….no mention of Stoops. Anyone else feel a little giddy that “Big Game Bob” is 0-2 against ND? Especially after he turned down our overtures to bring him to ND? This W feels all kinda nice in that respect.

  7. goirishgo - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    I am so damn proud of this team!

  8. danirish - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM



    That’s all I got!

    P.S. – my favorite and IMHO most important play (besides the actual scoring) was the bomb – Golson to Brown – I cheered and yelled and jumped up and downmore that play than any other! MORE OF THAT!

    • mtb1996 - Oct 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I agree that was a great play. My favorite play was Teo’s sack. ND showed blitz, Jones saw it and tried to adjust the play, but Teo came up the throat and throttled him. It was a beautiful moment when everyone watchcing knew he was coming, OU knew he was coming, and Teo blasted him anyway.

  9. irishking - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    It is unbelievable the way ND handled Oklahoma last night…truly unbelievable. Bet Bob Stoops is having a bad hair day today.

  10. bearcatirishfan - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Mark may was extremely complimentary, Lou and Rees should be allowed to call him out, but it’s in his contract that he can’t be told to repent.

    • papadec - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      That whole May/Holtz thing is for ratings – it’s part of the show.

    • bosoxdiehard - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:44 AM

      Just hope our Irish run the table and get to the BCS championship as Coach Holtz predicts.

      Because, as Mark May said, he’ll wear a lepprechaun suit on the show.

  11. ihatemistate - Oct 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    We are not just winning we are kicking people’s asses!! I watched 3 okies hobble off the field, did I miss any others? Manti’s hit on the QB was my fave. Bet Austin Collinsworth is looking back now. Why did he leave anyway?? He was a good player. Was sorry to see him gone.

    • ihatemistate - Oct 28, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      Sorry, I just went to UND.COM and see he’s still on the team, just out from surgery. Glad to see he is still at ND though. My oops!

  12. bosoxdiehard - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Okay, this might be a conflict of interest but shouldn’t someone in the Irish athletic dept give OU wide receiver Kenny Stills some kind of award? Helmet sticker (sorry ESPN)? Part of the game ball?

    Nice gamesmanship, Stills. Because of your classless behavior in the closing seconds, your touchdown was taken off the board. That would have been the most points (19, 20 or 21 points) any Irish opponent would have scored this year.

    Great, even good players let their play speak for their talent.

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