Oklahoma football: Sooners' loss to Notre Dame eerily similar to loss to Kansas State
NORMAN — A costly fumble, a Belldozer blunder and an eerily similar halftime score.
A mobile opposing quarterback, a strong overall defensive performance and a fourth-quarter collapse.
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No. 5 Notre Dame used a suffocating defense and a couple big offensive plays to stun No. 8 Oklahoma 30-13 Saturday on Owen Field, handing coach Bob Stoops a second home loss for the first time in his 13-year Oklahoma tenure.
Notre Dame (8-0) had its own twists, but managed to beat the Sooners — and stay alive in the national championship race — following a path to victory employed by Kansas State a little over a month ago, when the Wildcats beat OU 24-19 on Sept. 22.
That night, Landry Jones fumbled into his own end zone, giving Kansas State its first touchdown.
On the same field Saturday, Jones stepped away from his spot behind center Gabe Ikard to call an audible, but Ikard snapped the ball anyway, sending it for a 19-yard loss to kill OU's early momentum.
“We changed the play and there was miscommunication between myself and Landry,” Ikard said. “I snapped it when I normally snap it, and nothing good came from that.
“That was a huge drive kill for our team.”
Against Kansas State, Blake Bell fumbled away a sure first-half touchdown in the Belldozer package near Kansas State's goal line.
On the same field Saturday, Bell's 4-yard score in the second quarter was negated when guard Bronson Irwin was called for a holding penalty.
“I don't see it that way,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops, when asked if he saw similarities between the two losses.
“We were in some competitive situations and they picked them up.”
But the similarities don't stop there; Notre Dame led at halftime by the exact same score — 10-6 — that Kansas State did a little over a month ago.
The Irish's mobile quarterback, Everett Golson, completed just 13 passes Saturday. Kansas State's Collin Klein had the exact same number of completions against Oklahoma.
“I thought Everett Golson led our team,” said Irish coach Brian Kelly. “He had obviously been challenged to continue to grow, and it's been a process, but I thought tonight was a big step up for our quarterback. Our offense elevated itself against great competition on the road.”