POSITIVE RETURN FOR FRANKS
On Notre Dame's first two kickoffs, Trey Franks wasn't on the field — Clay and Roy Finch were the Sooners' deep backs.
But after Finch's two returns resulted in drives that started at the 24 and the 11, Franks was sent in on the return team after George Atkin's 80-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter.
The switch paid off, as Franks brought the ball back 40 yards to the Oklahoma 48.
The Sooners didn't get a touchdown out of the drive but did kick a field goal to extend the game to two possessions and ate up 4:20 of the clock.
TD REMINISCENT OF 2001
Corey Nelson's 24-yard interception return for a touchdown less than a minute into the game looked plenty like one of the biggest plays of the Stoops era — Teddy Lehman's interception return for a score that sealed the 2001 win over Texas.
Sophomore linebacker Eric Striker played the role of Roy WIlliams, knocking the ball from Tommy Rees' arm and into the hands of Nelson.
“I didn't have any flashbacks of Teddy Lehman and Roy Williams making that play because that ended the game,” Stoops said. “This is in the first quarter; first series. So we knew we had a long journey still ahead of us.”
IRISH BREAK OUT NEW WEAPON
Last season against Notre Dame, Oklahoma had the Belldozer at its disposal.
The Sooners haven't done much of that look this season now that Bell is the starting quarterback.
But for the first time, Notre Dame used a similar package Saturday, using Andrew Hendrix in a zone-read offense at times.
“There was nothing in the Oklahoma package other than we wanted to be a little more diversified, help our third-down package,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
Hendrix wound up rushing five times for 10 yards and missed on his only pass attempt.
“Fortunately we see it every day with Trevor Knight and Blake Bell,” Stoops said. “We go against each other. Like last week, we go against each other almost every day. S we're pretty used to it.”
The win was Bob Stoops' 153rd, moving him to within four of Barry Switzer for the school record. … Eight different players had receptions for the Sooners. … With his two field goals, Michael Hunnicutt is now 10 of 11 on the season and has made multiple field goals in five consecutive games. … Jordan Phillips had a sack, the first of his career. … Before Saturday, the last time a current Big 12 team beat Notre Dame was in the 1970 Cotton Bowl, when Texas beat the Fighting Irish.