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Sunday, October 28, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Notre Dame 30, OU 13

By Jake Trotter

Thoughts from Oklahoma's 30-13 loss to Notre Dame:

THREE UP:

1. WR Jalen Saunders: The Fresno State transfer was Oklahoma’s best player. Against one of the nation’s top defenses, Saunders was virtually unguardable. He broke the school record with eight catches in the first quarter and finished with 15 receptions for 181 yards.

2. QB Blake Bell: In the matchup everyone was waiting for -- the Belldozer vs. the Notre Dame front seven -- the Belldozer prevailed. Bell executed a gorgeous run fake then rose up and hit Trey Millard for a first down. Bell then became the first player this season to rush for a touchdown against the Irish. He would have had two, had a Bronson Irwin holding not negated a Bell touchdown run at the end of the first half.

3. FS Tony Jefferson: Jefferson was not involved early, but boy did he get himself involved late. Jefferson finished with a game-high 11 tackles, and almost knocked Everett Golson out of the game with a bone-crushing hit that left the Notre Dame QB curled up on the turf. Jefferson also didn’t allow any pass plays deep on his side of the field.

THREE DOWN:

1. CB Aaron Colvin: Colvin had tight coverage all night. But the Irish were still able to complete several passes on him to keep the chains moving, as Colvin was off playing the ball. Colvin remains one of the best cover corners in college football. It just wasn’t his night.

2. The OU offensive line: This was going to be a true test for how physical the Sooenrs offensive line could be. The Sooners basically failed the test. Notre Dame shut down a non-existent OU running game and didn’t even bother putting a fourth man on the defensive line. OU backs rushed the ball 22 times for just 53 yards.

3. OU execution: The Sooners have several chances to go up on Notre Dame early, and put pressure on the Irish. But when it counted, Notre Dame executed, OU did not. Whether it was a miscommunication on the snap or a holding penalty, the Sooners self-destructed at the worst times. And as Tom Wort put it, Notre Dame didn’t make a single mistake.