Notre Dame didn’t rise to the occasion versus Oklahoma and as a result fell to the Sooners 35-21. With the loss the Irish fall to 3-2 on the season ahead of their showdown versus Arizona State. The Irish turned the ball over three times in the first half, which resulted in 21 Oklahoma points. The Irish started slow yet again going down 14-0 in the first minute and took costly penalties throughout the mistake filled game. Despite a better effort in the second half it was too little too late. The following players were the bright spots for the Irish in an otherwise bad game:
George Atkinson III:
Junior running back George Atkinson III played likely his best game as a member of the Irish, rushing for 148 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Atkinson III showed off his breakaway speed on an 80 yard touchdown run and showed good vision in following his blockers and finding holes throughout the game. Atkinson III also ran hard and earned yards after contact, which has been a problem for him in the past.
Irish captain T.J. Jones managed to have a solid game despite the terrible play of quarterback Tommy Rees. Jones caught four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. Jones was the only Irish receiver to experience any success versus the Sooners even though it was limited. The Georgia native continued to be a key contributor on third down but it wasn’t enough to boost the Irish passing attack.
Fifth-year senior Carlo Calabrese played another solid game at linebacker for the Irish. Calabrese continued to be the leader of the Irish defense against the run and did his part to slow down runs up the middle, but the Irish struggled on outside runs. Calabrese led the Irish in tackles with 10 and was physical as always, which has been a problem for the Irish defense this season.
All-American Stephon Tuitt is starting to contribute more regularly as the season goes on. Tuitt totalled five tackles, one for a loss, and two quarterback hurries versus the Sooners. Tuitt was stout against the run and was one of the only members of the Irish defense able to pressure Sooner quarterback Blake Bell.