Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/15/14

Oklahoma dropped their second game of the season to Notre Dame last night in much the same fashion in which they lost their first. Their defense was unable to get the Irish offense off the field and when their offense had the opportunity to score, they faltered. The loss likely ends any hopes of 2012 ending in a Championship of any kind, outside of a Bowl victory. Everett Golson, the talented freshman QB for Notre Dame, played beyond his years and experience throughout the game, consistently eluding defenders in the backfield and picking up key yards with his feet and fitting the ball into tight windows with his arm. I won’t say that the defense for the Sooners played badly; they just were not the opportunistic unit which had helped to turn around the Oklahoma season following the loss to Kansas St. earlier in the year. When they needed to come up with a stop or a turnover throughout the game, they failed time and again. Too often, Golson was afforded time in the pocket to wait for a receiver to get open downfield. The secondary did a good job of keeping the receivers covered, so give Golson credit on many of the throws that he did complete into tight coverage. When the Sooners were able to generate pressure, the linebackers were unable to contain him and keep him from picking up key yards. via stormininnorman.com The Oklahoma offense did an outstanding job of moving the ball between the 20s all night through the passing game. It became clear early that the Irish plan was to not allow Jones to beat them deep, giving up short yards in the passing game and stifling the Oklahoma running game. The inability of Oklahoma to establish any kind of running game was crucially bad for the Sooners. Damien Williams was noticeably dinged up early in the game, limping around, and Dominique Whaley and Roy Finch were strangely absent from the Offensive game plan. I was really surprised that Jones did not at least test the Irish secondary deep. There wasn’t a lot of discussion about it during the game from the announcers, but there were many times I expected a shot to be taken downfield especially during the first half. I am curious what would have happened if we had inserted the Bell Dozer package for one drive during the night. I have often wondered how that package would do on a full series rather than on individual plays during a game and it may have been worth a try last night. In the end, though, I decided that it probably wasn’t worth pulling Jones and disrupting his rhythm in order to try a gimmick. Jones was throwing the ball well all night and was making good decisions. The one interception he did throw was not his fault. In the end, I think you have to put this one on the coaching staff. For at least the second time this year, I felt as though the Oklahoma coaching staff was the second best on the field. I think if Brian Kelly would have given us our Offensive and Defensive game plans for the evening, they would have been very similar to what we came into the game with on our own. When Kelly brought his Cincinnati Bearcats to Norman in 2008, Sam Bradford beat them over the top on huge passing plays, putting the game away early. Last night, Kelly seemed to come into the game intent on not letting that happen. Jones had plenty of time in the pocket for passes to develop deep, but we weren’t even trying them. Kelly knew that he had one of the best defensive front-7s in football and he was going to take his chances in the Red Zone. On Defense, the coaching staff again played vanilla – not as bad as against Kansas St., but they didn’t bring pressure often enough and instead sat back and waited for the mistake that Golson never made. Although Landry Jones had a good night throwing and taking care of the ball, the limitations in his game no doubt tied the hands of the OU Coaching staff. Since the loss to Kansas St., Offensive Coordinator Josh Heuple has worked to simplify the attack for Jones. For all the accolades Jones will leave with after his career as the Oklahoma starting quarterback, he will mostly be remembered as the quarterback who couldn’t win the big game. Luckily for him and Oklahoma, his career corresponded with one of the worst 3 year runs for the hated rival to the South. But during his record-setting career under center, Oklahoma St. and Kansas St. will have won Big XII Conference titles. Landry, that is your legacy. -Doak

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