For some reason, this game was supposed to be about the Oklahoma Sooners proving to everyone how “fake” the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are. Instead, it was more proof that the best defense in the nation, led by Manti Te’o, can handle anything someone throws at them, while Everett Golson proved this team does have a quarterback and some offense to show for it.
It wasn’t a big day for Golson in terms of numbers. Only 177 yards, no touchdowns, while rushing for one TD himself. But he and the Irish’s offense didn’t turn the ball over and made the most of the short field advantage their incredible defense gave them time after time. Landry Jones did throw for 356 yards, but he got no touchdown passes and was intercepted by Te’o (questionable call) to seal the game. Rushing game? There was none, gaining only 15 yards on the ground.
What we’d been hearing was a lot of people didn’t think we could win this game. That kind of just added that fuel to my fire that was already burning. We just wanted to come out and show them that we can.
Undefeated? 8-0, you got it. The Irish now have four wins against top-25 teams and even bigger; two wins against top-10 teams on the road. The computers are going to love that, even if the polls still won’t show that much of enthusiasm about the team going through the toughest schedule in the nation.
It was somewhat of an offensive explosion for Notre Dame, as much as this team can explode. Cierre Wood’s 62-yard TD run is Notre Dame’s longest run of the season. The Irish gained a total of 403 yards and did a great job on third downs (7-15) and managing the clock, keeping possession for 32:28 minutes. All Oklahoma did was chase and chase, until they couldn’t keep up with that defense in the fourth quarter, giving up 20 points in the 30-13 loss.
The Irish did give up their first rushing touchdown of the season, an amazing stat on it’s own, but had nothing to be disappointed about regarding their defensive performance. Te’o solidified his Heisman candidacy with an interception, a sack and 11 tackles. It seems that each time someone tells them they’re pretenders, their defense pushes a bit harder and stronger the next time around. Maybe this time, they have everyone convinced.
Te’o: We knew what we could do. Today’s no surprise. We knew that if we came to work, we came into today with confidence and everybody doing their job that we would be fine. I’m glad we came out the right way. We’ve come a long way. We’re going to continue to get better. That’s our main goal right now. Just continue to get better and not be satisfied with being 8-0.