In last year's meeting with Notre Dame, the Sooners weren't bad overall on first down, averaging more than 4.6 yards on first down. But several times, the Sooners struggled on first down and often got caught in third-and-long situations.
Plays on first down figure to be important against the Fighting Irish on Saturday, and OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell wants his receivers to keep that in mind rather than trying to break the big play.
“We've got to do a good job of making efficient plays on first down, whether it's running or throwing,” Norvell said. “And in this game, it's important that you catch and you get upfield north and south and it's not fancy. It's just get upfield, get the yards you need, bang off pads and move on to the next play.”
The Sooners were just 4 of 14 on third down in last year's loss.
WILLIAMS EXPECTED BACK
Running back Damien Williams is expected to play Saturday against Notre Dame after serving a one-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Williams missed the game against Tulsa after rushing for 161 yards in the season's first two games.
Williams was OU's leading rusher against Notre Dame last season, running for 29 yards.
“He's great with the ball in his hands as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “He's been great in protections as well. Hopefully, if he can play at a high level, that will help us.”
In Williams' absence last week, freshman Keith Ford saw increased action.
KNIGHT STAYS UPBEAT