Recap Week 9: Notre Dame defeats the favored Oklahoma Sooners, 30-13

Cierre Wood's 62-yd TD, photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

#5 Notre Dame defeats #8 Oklahoma, 30-13 in Norman, Ok.

A game summary using excerpts from the best summaries:

(Chicago Tribune @DavidHaugh) When running back Cierre Wood burst up the middle for a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to stun a red-and-white striped record Sooners crowd of 86,031 into silence, Notre Dame announced its arrival back into the BCS discussion. When legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate linebacker Manti Te’o intercepted his fifth pass of the season with 4:27 left, the Irish punctuated their presence back among college football’s elite.

(Associated Press) Te’o and the second-ranked Irish defense frequently gave up underneath passes but prevented them from turning into big gains, making the Sooners snap the ball over and over while the Irish waited for a mistake that would snuff out the drive. Oklahoma’s first two red-zone possessions ended with field goals, and the Sooners turned to backup quarterback Blake Bell and their “Belldozer” short-yardage run package to finally punch one in and tie it at 13 with 9:10 remaining.

(USA Today, George Schroeder) Notre Dame had spent much of the game grinding slowly downfield, eating clock. All tied up, Kelly changed plans. On second-and-short, Golson faked a handoff, then looked deep for freshman receiver Chris Brown, perhaps Notre Dame’s fastest player. Notre Dame had tried the play earlier in the season, but hadn’t connected – Brown, in fact, had never caught a pass. He trusted Golson to do it. Brown got behind the defense. “I just stepped up in the pocket and gave it a little bit of air,” Golson said. They connected, and the 50-yard play sucked the air out of the old stadium and set up the go-ahead touchdown. Fittingly, Golson punched it in.

(Bleacher Report, Martin Sondermann) If you look at the numbers the Sooners matched the Irish all night long. Oklahoma had 22 first downs compared to Notre Dame and its 18. The Sooners rolled up 379 yards on offense, while the Irish had 403. Oklahoma did have 34 more penalty yards than the Irish and a single turnover. While Notre Dame didn’t turn the ball over even once. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that Oklahoma couldn’t run on the Irish. On the night, the Sooners gained just 15 yards rushing on 24 attempts. Bob Stoops’ team had 35 negative rushing yards in total. In reality it came down to toughness and desire. The running game needs both to succeed, and the Sooners seemed to be lacking in both categories. The Irish, on the other hand, ran 39 times for 215 yards. They were controlling the line of scrimmage and playing with passion.