ESPN “College GameDay” was in Norman, Oklahoma as the number five team in the nation the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame took on the number eight Sooners of Oklahoma. This is the second time this season that “College GameDay” has been at a Notre Dame game and not one ESPN analyst thought Notre Dame was going to win. Notre Dame a 12 point underdog ended up defeating the Sooners 30-13 improving to 8-0 and catapulting to number three in the nation.
Notre Dame did everything right in this game gaining 403 yards with 215 on the ground including 74 from both Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick (with George Atkinson III not able to make the trip due to flu-like symptoms) and 177 through the air. Notre Dame held Oklahoma to 15 yards on the ground took advantage of the games only turnover an INT grabbed by Manti Te’o (his 5th of the season) which the Irish scored points off and scored 17 unanswered points with only eight minutes left in the 4th quarter.
Other highlights from the game came in the form of echoes as Manti Te’o chants filled the Norman sky. At the end of the game Oklahoma in a last stitch effort drove down the field. WR Kenny Stills who thought he had scored a touchdown only to have it marked at the one, would choose to act immaturely began smack talking in the face of a Notre Dame cornerback. The next play was a pass thrown to Stills who would blandantly shove the Notre Dame defender to the ground he is called for pass interference which led to Oklahoma moving back to the 22 yard line where Notre Dame would end the game in fitting fashion with their defense and Prince Shembo.
Many have questioned is Notre Dame for real? “We really don’t think about that. We really don’t care what other people think of us,” coach Brian Kelly said. “(The players) really just care about each other, Notre Dame and winning football games. They’ll let everybody else decide who we are.” Today on both ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and “PTI” there was very little mentioned in regards to the game and the fact that no one gave this team a chance.
Today many fans are entertaining the idea of Notre Dame being a national champion contender and several elements still need to happen and this weekend could be the most important one of the entire year. First, Notre Dame needs to play at the level they played for the remainder of the season. Secondly, the luck of the Irish needs to shine the LSU vs. Alabama game is extremely important as LSU is taking on Alabama at home where they haven’t lost in over 40 games if LSU wins Notre Dame should move up to number two. The Oregon/USC game is also very important if USC wins this helps Notre Dame with strength of schedule, and finally if Kansas St. loses to Oregon St. then it increases Notre Dame’s chances to be number two in the country and gives them a better chance to play on January 7th. The most important element though is Notre Dame winning against the Panthers of Pittsburg in South Bend this Saturday at 2:30/3:30 C
Saturday night’s game also beats the World Series in the ratings as more households tuned in to watch Notre Dame defeat Oklahoma.