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OU-Notre Dame: Grading the Sooners' performance in a 30-13 loss to the Irish

OU REPORT CARD — Notre Dame's 30-13 victory over Oklahoma featured another fourth-quarter defensive fade against a premier opponent.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 27, 2012

An offense that never got untracked and a defense that wilted in the fourth quarter made for some poor Sooner grades.


Against a team that had scored more than 20 points in only two of its seven victories, the Sooners got precious few stops. In six second-half possessions, Notre Dame had one punt and no turnovers. In the final 14 minutes, the Irish scored two touchdowns and kicked two field goals. It was similar to OU's defensive wilting in the fourth quarter against Kansas State.


OU tailback Damien Williams, and even hard-nosed fullback Trey Millard, did not run north/south in their limited carries. Williams, especially, strung out plays horizontally rather than turn up field and take what he could get. But there wasn't a lot of room to run. OU running backs finished with 44 yards on 17 carries, making it difficult for Landry Jones to mount a passing attack.


The OU marketing department hatched the dubious plan of having fans in even-numbered sections wear crimson and fans in odd-numbered sections wear white. These landscape plans work best in basketball, or at least in warm-weather football. Easy to find a red or white shirt. Hard to find a red or white coat, for a game where temperatures dipped into the low 40s. Plus, the three sections of student seating are general admission. But the fans did a decent job of making it look presentable.


The Sooners went high-speed only once, on its only third-quarter possession, and stayed with it only three or four plays. It worked well, but OU never went back to it.


Clendon Thomas (OU) and Don Lawrence (Notre Dame), veterans of the famed 1957 game in which the Irish ended the Sooners' 47-game winning streak, were honorary captains at the coin toss, along with Jay Wilkinson, son of Bud Wilkinson. OU also showed a video tribute to Thomas, a 2011 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, which included highlights of OU's 40-0 victory over the Irish in 1956, the lone Sooner win in the series. Also, OU showed a video tribute to Merv Johnson, including his Notre Dame years.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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