Notre Dame's ability to run the football with success Saturday allowed it to pick up key first downs through the air in its 30-13 win at Oklahoma.
The running success also bred what was possibly the Irish's most important play of the night — a 50-yard play-action pass from Everett Golson to Chris Brown in the fourth quarter that set up the final go-ahead touchdown.
“Anytime somebody can run the football, your secondary has to start biting down on the run, and they can go over the top,” said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “That's kind of what happened in the fourth quarter. That was disappointing.”
The Irish picked up a total of 18 first downs Saturday; eleven of them were on passes.
“I thought they made some plays; we didn't have great calls on a couple of them, and that's our fault from a staff position, and putting them in a little bit better position to make some plays,” Stoops said. “Just struggled with the rhythm of the game and a lot of that is credited to (Golson) and their ability to run the football better than anybody we really have faced.”
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