Game Commentary: Notre Dame at Oklahoma

ND – 30  OU – 13

FINAL

(most recent drive at the top)

RECAP

The Irish came in and executed the perfect game plan to beat Oklahoma.  Their defense is definitely for real as they held the Sooners to 13 points and it was due in large part to keeping the completely out of balance – Jones passed for 364 yards, but only had 15 yards rushing for the game – even if they did get the first rushing TD of the season against this stout Notre Dame defense.  Hats off to the young quarterback, Golson passing for only 177 yards, but also opening it up just enough to keep the Irish rushing game going (215 yards on the ground).  The argument can now begin as to who should be number 2 – Notre Dame, Kansas State or Oregon.  Notre Dame heads back to Southbend to take on Pitt next week.  They are now set up for a possible run to and undefeated season with the biggest roadblock to that being their final game in Los Angeles against USC.  Almost as big as that will be to not lose focus between now and then with the other three games (Pitt, at Boston College and Wake).  Oklahoma will have to re-group and get ready for a trip to Iowa State and try to keep their hopes for a conference championship alive .  . . .though they still need a lot of help to get that – Kansas State will need to drop two games among their remaining schedule (OkState, at TCU, at Baylor and Texas)….good luck with that.

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DRIVES

Oklahoma – starts at the 48 after a great return by Brennan Clay.  Jones gets a some completions.  Damien Williams is hurt on a 2nd and 7 play and leaves the game limping (helped off the field by a couple of trainers).  The first play after the injury timeout was a touchdown pass to Kenny Stills for a “Pride” score (play under review – he may have stepped out at the 1) – after review – the play is reversed and he’s out of bounds inside the 1.  1st and Goal inside the 1 yard line and Jones stays in the game.  Pass interference on Kenny Stills and the ball is pushed back out to the 15.  1st and goal from the 15.  Jones is sacked there and that ends the game.  END OF GAME    

Notre Dame – starts at the 19 after the turnover on downs.  First play is a run for 1 yard.  Riddick up the middle for a three more on 2nd down (TIMEOUT – NOTRE DAME – 1:41).  3rd and 6 at the OU 16and Riddick runs it in for a touchdown to seal the game 30-13 1:36 – 4th

Oklahoma – starts at the 18 after the return.  The snap goes through Landry’s legs into the endzone, he scoops it up in the endzone and just throws it out where it is caught by Clay at the 9.  A completion to Saunders at 19.   3rd and 9 and Jones overthrows the pass to Shepard bringing up a 4th and 9.  Jones in the gun – Irish with 7 in coverage and it’s incomplete when the pass is dropped by Clay.  Notre Dame takes over on down at the OU 19.  

Notre Dame – Starts at the 45 after the turnover.  First play is a fun up the middle by Riddick for a gain of 10 and a first.  Riddick again for 4 yards  – OU takes their first timeout of the half (3:39 – 4th) – 2nd and 6 and Golson keeps in on a bootleg to the left for a gain of 2 – Timeout by OU (3:32 – 4th).  3rd and 4 after the timeout – Golson throws and it’s incomplete – 4th and 4 at the OU 29.  46 yard field goal is good extending the Irish lead to 23-13 with 3:22 left in the game.

Oklahoma – Starts at the 25 after a touchback.  First play is a 7 yard completion to Saunders followed by an incomplete.  3rd and Jones completes it to Stills for a first down at the 41.  One 1st down, the ball is tipped by Saunders and Te’o makes the interception (under review) (4:27 – 4th) – after review the play stands.  Notre Dame takes over at the OU 45.

Notre Dame starts at the 27 and on 2nd and 2, Golson completes a 50 yard pass to Chris Brown at the OU 15.  Then a 13 yard completion to the OU 3.  3rd and goal from the 2 and Golson dives in for a touchdown. 20-13 Irish – (5:05 – 4th)  Took them 7 plays to go 73 yards.

Oklahoma – Starts at their own 48 and 7 plays later BLAKE BELL punches it in for a TD and the first rushing touchdown against Notre Dame all season. 13-13 (9:10 – 4th)

Notre Dame – starts with the ball at their own 10 after the punt.  First play from scrimmage and Golson has to throw the ball away after scrambling.  On 2nd and 10 Riddick is stopped after a gain of 3 up the middle.  3rd and 7 and Notre Dame has to take a timeout (12:14 – 4th).  On 3rd and 7 after the timeout – Golson has to throw it away after being pressured.  .

Oklahoma – starts with the ball at the 25 after a touchback on the kickoff.  Saunders makes a catch on the first play for a first down at the 44 followed by Williams and a 5 yard run around the right end.  Jones has to throw the ball away on 2nd and 5 outside the pocket.  On 3rd and 5 and the pass is incomplete downfield intended for Justin Brown.  OU is forced to punt yet again (13:10 – 4th).  

Notre Dame – starts at their own 2 after the punt.  One first down, they get 5 yards out to the 7.  2nd and 5 from the 7 and Golson runs a bootleg out for a first down on a huge run to the 24.  The next play was a completion to Daniels on a jump ball out to the 46.  At midfield on 2nd and 6 they gained a couple to bring up 3rd and 4 at the OU 48.  Golson completed a pass to Toma for another first down at the OU 41.  Hurst helps break up a pass on first down and on 2nd and 10 Tony Jefferson absolutely leveled Golson on a quarterback draw.  He’s down injured for the moment (0:55 – 3rd).  Looks like he got the wind knocked out of him.  Reese has to come in at Qb for a play on 3rd and 7 from the OU 38.  Empty backfield for Reese and he completes a pass of the left for a first down to Eifert at the OU 27. (END OF THE 3RD QUARTER).  Golson comes back in and they try a reverse with a pass, but OU wasn’t fooled incomplete on first and 10.  Golson keeps it on the option and is stopped by Gabe Lynn for no gain.  3rd and 10 from the OU 27 and the pass is incomplete intended for Eifert.  The field goal attempt of 44 yards is just barely good inside the right upright and the Irish lead 13-7 (13:57 – 4th).

Oklahoma – starts at their own 20 after the missed field goal.  Williams starts off the show with a 7 yard run up the middle followed by a hurry up to Saunders ou to the left for a first down and a quick pass back to the left to Stills for 5.  2nd and 5 from the 38 was a swing pass to Williams for a first down at the 46.  Next play was another first down pass to Saunders at the Notre Dame 38.  No gain on a dump off to Millard on 1st down was followed by a 2 yard loss on a delayed hand off to Williams.  On 3rd and 12 from the 40, Jones along in the backfield, pass complete over the middle to Williams for a gain of 4 but well short of the first down.  OU is forced to punt and Justin Brown downs it at the 2. – 4:41 – 3rd.

Notre Dame – starts with the ball at the top of the 3rd quarter.  They return the kickoff to the 22.  TJ Jones makes a great catch on 2nd and 9 from the 23 for a first down at the 36.  Golson scrambles on 2nd and 9 for a first down at the 48.  Irish starting to run and try to eat clock to shorten the game and keep Jones and the Sooner offense on the sidelines.  On 3rd and 2 – Golson runs the draw to the OU 35.  Irish offense starting to mix it up a bit and keeping OU defense off-balance.  1st and at ot the 24 after a pass.  On 3rd and 4 from the OU 18, the Irish take a timeout. (8:15 – 3rd).  3rd and 4 from the OU 18 after the timeout – Golson throws to his left incomplete – and they have to settle for a field goal attempt with is PULLED LEFT – OU’s defense holds – still 10-6 Irish – 8:06 – 3rd.

Notre Dame starts at their own 19 after the kick off return.  They are happy to take a knee and go into the locker room leading 10-6 – HALFTIME

Oklahoma – starts at the 21 after the kick off.  OU finally gets another first down when Sterling Shepard comes up with a catch over the middle to the 39.  Stills makes a catch on 2nd and 9 from the 40 for a first down across midfield to the Irish 47.  The next play Jones completes a pass to Justin Brown for another first down at the 29.  Notre Dame jumped offsides on 2nd and 10 to make it 2nd and 5 from the 24.  Stills makes the catch for the first down at the 18 on a slant with a very good catch.  Williams gets 5 on 1st down, then Stills gets another 1st down at the 5 yard line on a quick pass.  Damien Williams got 1 on first and goal and we have our first appearance of the Belldozer Package.  There was a holding call that cancelled a Blake Bell touchdown so Jones came back in and then had to throw it away on 2nd and goal from the 13 followed by a dropped pass at the 5 to a wide open receiver.  Hunnicutt gets the field goal – 10-6 Irish 0:43 – 2nd  (NOTE ON THE PENALTY:  THERE WAS A LOT OF CONFUSION ABOUT WHEN THE FLAG WAS THROWN AS IT CAME WAY AFTER THE TOUCHDOWN RUN BY BELL AND THEY COULDN’T FIND A HOLD ON THE REPLAY – coming back after halftime – they found a holding call – ticky tack as it was)

Notre Dame – starts at their own 19 after the punt.  On 3rd and 8 from the 21, Golson completes a pass to Daniels out at the 35.  They they quickly get out close to midfield with a bootleg pass in the flat to the right.  OU is having to respect the pass a bit more and it’s starting to open up the running game as two more run plays get the Irish down to the OU 36.  On 2nd and 10, Notre Dame fumbled the ball forward and recovered instead of a 3rd and 10 it’s a 3rd and 5.  Bob Stoops challenges that it was a fumble but it wasn’t reviewable.  Then Golson completes a short pass for a frist down to Toma down to the OU 25.  One 1st and 10 from the 25, Demontre Hurst went out of bounds on the Notre Dame sideline on an incomplete pass and got injured.  That could be a blow to OU’s secondary.  Hurst seems to be OK after the injury timeout, more on that later.  Notre Dame drive stalls and they settle for a field goal.10-3 Irish  – 5:58 – 2nd .

Oklahoma starts with the ball at their own 31 after the punt.  Oklahoma starts off the drive looking to establish more of a rushing game (as I said in the preview: BALANCE is the key to beating the Irish).  Jones is sacked on 3rd and 6 by Manti Te’o and the Sooners are forced to punt after 3 plays and negative 5 yards of offense. – 11:44 – 2nd

Notre Dame – starts at their own 12 and gets out to the 30 on a pass play (END 1ST QUARTER) The first down at the 30 resulted in 3 plays for 1 yard and and Notre Dame has to punt.  7-3 Irish – 13:52 – 2nd

Oklahoma – starts at the 32 after the punt.  Oklahoma is able to move the ball initially again and on 3rd and 7 at the Irish 44 the drive stalls again.  Oklahoma is forced to punt. 0:38 – 1st 

Notre Damestarts with the ball at their own 24 after the punt.  They then have a three and out of their own.  

Oklahoma started with the ball at the 25 after a touchback.  Oklahoma promptly goes three and out. – 7-3 – Notre Dame – 5:16 – 1st

Notre Dame – starts at their own 33 after a decent kickoff return.  On the second play from scrimmage – Cierre Wood broke straight up the middle for a 62 yard touchdown run to give the Irish the lead and likely giving Mike Stoops a couple of popped blood vessels on the sidelines – 7-3 – 6:24 – 1st

Oklahoma started at their own 18 yard line this time and were out to midfield in three plays and then down inside the 20 in two more plays.  The drive then stalled and OU had to settle for a field goal try from the 11.  Michael Hunnicutt put it through and Oklahoma draws first blood – 3-0 OU7:12 – 1st

Notre Dame – started with the ball at their own 23 – They came up just short of the first down marker on 3rd down so they have to punt and OU takes over at their own 18 after a fair catch by Justin Brown – 10:42 – 1st

Oklahoma started off well enough on the first drive, but it stalled and a screwed up snap that lost them 19 yards on 1st down out near midfield.  A miscommunication at Landry Jones was trying to make a quick play change and the center snapped it right past him.  Oklahoma ends up punting and Notre Dame takes over. 12:21 – 1st