Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/29/12
While many commentators acted like the Oklahoma Sooners would easily defeat Notre Dame on Saturday night in Norman, others were not as convinced. Notre Dame vindicated those who argued against the media narrative that Notre Dame was a pretender about to be exposed by the Sooners. If anyone got exposed as a pretender, it was the Sooners and their finesse offense and defense. While the Sooners' 364 yards passing look impressive at first glance, they look far less impressive when you realize they came on 36 completions and 52 attempts. They managed only seven yards per passing attempt, and converted only four of their fourteen third down attempts. A big reason for the Sooners' inefficiency was their paltry 24 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Notre Dame forced their offense into being one dimensional, and completely took the big play out of their passing attack. Oklahoma was forced to live on the margins and try to beat Notre Dame defense with a dink and dunk passing game, and they just could not execute well enough to pull that off. Notre Dame's offense made sure to make that difficult by moving the ball enough to flip the field. Coming into the game, many did not give Notre Dame's "anemic" offense much of a chance against the Great Bob Stoops. However, the Irish gashed Oklahoma for 215 yards rushing on 39 carries (5.5 a carry). They added another 188 yards of passing, much of which came on big plays set up by play action. For all the talk about how Notre Dame would not be able to contain Oklahoma's big play offense, it was the Irish that hit the home run plays. In the first quarter, Cierre Wood gashed the middle of Oklahoma's defense for a 62 yard touchdown run where he was barely touched. Later, Golson hooked up with Chris Brown for a 50 yard bomb off of play action that led to an Irish touchdown. The drive gave Notre Dame a lead they never surrendered. What we learned: Nobody is going to score a lot of points on Notre Dame. If Oklahoma couldn't do it, USC sure as heck isn't going to do it.  Notre Dame's offense is a heck of a lot better than people are giving it credit for being. After facing stellar defenses like Michigan, Michigan State, BYU and Stanford, Notre Dame's offensive statistics obviously do not look as good as a team that plays a succession of joke opponents. Golson has matured throughout the season, and the run game looks better every week. Oklahoma has a toughness problem. They play a very finesse offense and defense and they have now been gouged on the ground by a team with far less talent (Kansas State) and a team that is fifteen years removed from being a national powerhouse (Notre Dame).  The move many teams have made to get smaller and faster on both offense and defense has probably given a schematic advantage to teams that build through strength and physicality. Kelly was a no huddle spread it out guy for a decade, and it's interesting that at Notre Dame he's made the decision to go the other way.  If you honestly can look at Oregon's body of work and say they are a more deserving national championship contender than Kansas State or Notre Dame, you either work for ESPN, are a fan of Oregon, and/or you have suffered major brain trauma. Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101. var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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