Oklahoma football: Sooners' history with Notre Dame lost on current players

Bob Stoops said: “These are 18-, 19-, 21- and 22-year-old guys. I can try to engage them all I want in what happened way back when. I don't think it's gonna matter.”
by Jason Kersey Published: October 22, 2012

Heck, most of today's Sooner and Fighting Irish players weren't even 10-years old in 1999, the last time the programs met on the gridiron.

“Then, it's not like we even knew we were coming to OU,” Washington said.

“It would be different if it were recent history ... OU-Texas history is a little different than Notre Dame-OU history, because we've seen OU-Texas history. We haven't seen that, so we can't even imagine it.”

Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright said the history and tradition is great for fans — and even makes the game special to he and his fellow coaches — but none of that has anything to do with what happens on the field Saturday.

“None of what happened prior has anything to do with this team or this game,” Wright said. “It's all about Oklahoma today and Notre Dame today. That's the way it should be.”

Before the 1999 game, which Notre Dame came from behind to win 34-30, the last time the traditional powers played was 1968 in South Bend, Ind.

Two years before that, in 1966, the Fighting Irish made their last trek to Norman for a football game.

“I think Coach Stoops was six,” Washington said of when that game was played, before adding with a laugh. “Coach Wright might've been 35.

“No ... he was 16, though. We asked him.”

Told of Washington's comment, Wright chuckled.

“He was alluding to how old I am,” he said. “I told him, ‘I'm a lot better looking old man than you are a young man.'

“Most of the games were so long ago, I can understand why most of them don't know anything about the history, other than what we've told them.

“Certainly the media is interested because everybody's going crazy about it. I understand even (ESPN College) GameDay is gonna be here, so apparently it's a big media deal. That adds to it ... but in the locker room and in the meeting rooms, it's about our very proud football team going against their very proud football team.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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