It’s not really an upset when the No. 5 team in the country plays and beats the No. 8 team. But when most of the National media has the No. 8 team picked to win by double-digits, it could be considered one. The Oklahoma Sooners hosted Notre Dame Saturday night in what many were saying was going to be the Irish’s reckoning moment. Many had the Irish pegged as one of the most over-rated teams of this season.
After looking at some of their stats, I was starting to believe this true. Their defense was doing extremely well, but hadn’t played a good offense. Granted I hadn’t watched much Notre Dame football this season and just watching highlights. But nonetheless, I was impressed, but not overly-worried about what would happen.
What happened last night was something I don’t think anyone expected. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson had the game of his life. From what I’ve seen of him and statistically this game was the best he has played all season. And he is just a redshirt freshman. For someone of that age, to come into an environment like Norman, Oklahoma and take control the way he did, he deserves a lot of the credit. He threw for 177 yards and ran for 64. The numbers aren’t helmet-sticker worthy, but after sitting out the week prior against BYU due to a concussion and being able to handle the pressure (which Oklahoma wasn’t doing much of and is a completely different story); the kid is only getting better as the weeks pass.
As for the Notre Dame defense? LB Manti Te’o and the rest of the Irish line is legit. This isn’t one of those fluke things where people think they really aren’t back, they are for real. Oklahoma was trying to get a ground game established all night and was no-dice. At one point in the game, they were sitting at -9 yards.
You can shoulder some of the blame on the Sooners with the play-calling; the defense didn’t look as sharp as it has in the last couple of weeks and a few other factors. But I think, in this case, you have to give credit to Notre Dame. They came to play. They came to play and win. The Sooners showed up and played a lot better than the score showed, but Notre Dame wanted it more. This Notre Dame team has the meat of their schedule already out of the way, with only USC looming as the team that could break their little Irish hearts. BUT I don’t see that happening. USC lost to Arizona Saturday, who barely beat Oklahoma State, who barely beat Kansas.
A Notre Dame against Alabama title game might be a little interesting to see…