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Eyeing national respect, Notre Dame gets a key road win at Oklahoma

Notre Dame v Oklahoma Getty Images

Earlier this week, Berry Tramel of the Daily Oklahoman wrote that Notre Dame’s famous “PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY” sign may have originated from former Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson in the late 1940′s. The slogan may (or may not) have been born in Norman, Oklahoma, but Notre Dame will take it, metaphorically, back to South Bend, Indiana, as its own.

When you go on the road and defeat a top-10 team 30-13, you deserve to be called champions.

Notre Dame (No. 5) answered the biggest question facing the team all year: how would the Irish score, especially without George Atkinson III, against Oklahoma (No. 8)? Well, like most things on offense, it starts with the ground game. The Irish ran the ball effectively for 215 yards. And quarterback Everett Golson, who has struggled mightily at times over the past few weeks, had arguably the best game (and undoubtedly the best throw downfield of play-action) of his young career.

Considering how stiff the competition was compared to other games for Notre Dame this season, this is arguably the best and most balanced the Irish offense has looked so far in 2012, and it came together in the biggest game. The final touchdown for Notre Dame was simply window dressing.

When was the last time you could say that about this offense? It hasn’t alwaysbeen pretty for Notre Dame this year, but they’ve won games their way.

Notre Dame’s defense, for which this team is more highly-regarded, played as well as it has all season. The Sooners had six offensive possessions in the second half. One resulted in a score, two in turnovers and four did not extend beyond 30 yards. Though the Irish allowed the first rushing touchdown of the year thanks to Blake Bell, they only allowed 50 yards on the ground before sacks.

We spoke earlier about Alabama (which is rolling over Mississippi State), Oregon (which ran over Colorado) and Kansas State being  the three most dominating teams to date this season. After tonight, it’s tough not to add Notre Dame to that list or to think it wouldn’t have a chance against any of them. Win big games and you’ll be considered big-time. That’s a perception Notre Dame has fought uphill against for the past two decades. Until this team shows they shouldn’t be taken seriously, though, they’ve earned the right to be.

The Irish were supposed to have a ridiculously difficult schedule this year, but Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford haven’t quite panned out to be as fierce as they were projected before the season. Looking ahead, Notre Dame shouldn’t have any trouble with Pitt, Boston College or Wake Forest before ending the year at USC. But if Notre Dame can keep winning — the BCS computers like the Irish right now more than Alabama and Oregon — it will very much be in the discussion for a BCS championship appearance.

Love Notre Dame or hate Notre Dame, college football is better off when the Irish are in the national discussion.

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27 Responses to “Eyeing national respect, Notre Dame gets a key road win at Oklahoma”
  1. bogtrottin says: Oct 28, 2012 12:08 AM

    It’s a great day to be Irish

  2. jgater1981 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:11 AM

    But…but…I thought OU was supposed to put 40+ on ND. What happened!?

  3. kiopta1 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:12 AM

    I guess OU was a nobody right haters? GO IRISH!

  4. kozbee says: Oct 28, 2012 12:13 AM

    Boring game/no winners here.

  5. gorilladunk says: Oct 28, 2012 12:13 AM

    I just took off my crimson and cream colored glasses and a few thoughts about the game…..ND is pretty damn GOOD. They play fantastic defense and (especially on 3rd down) shut down an offense that had been humming along. The Golson kid played very well and the Irish coaches are to be commended for having their team so well prepared. Didn’t see this coming, but I tip my cap to ND for a well played (no turnovers and ONE penalty) game. They deserve to be ranked where they are. This wasn’t nearly as much about what OU didn’t do as it was about what ND did do.

  6. tommytd says: Oct 28, 2012 12:16 AM

    …that’s why they play the games!

  7. ndnut says: Oct 28, 2012 12:23 AM

    My hope for the rest of the country as ND gets into the NC conversation:
    LSU beats Alabama
    Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship
    Oregon loses twice out of Oregon St and USC twice.
    K-State wins out.
    ND wins out.
    A fan can dream, right.

  8. polegojim says: Oct 28, 2012 12:33 AM

    Notre Dame… I stand corrected and you did it.

    I was wrong!

    Great Job – Go Irish!

  9. kiopta1 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:39 AM

    Teo for the H-man.

  10. thraiderskin says: Oct 28, 2012 12:45 AM

    Good job Irish… you’re looking the part.

  11. steincj36 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:46 AM

    With Florida losing, will the computers have ND #1? They won’t get enough respect in the polls to jump anyone, but with 4 AP 4 Harris and 1 Computer rankings, they could be #3 BCS.

  12. txnative61 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:47 AM

    Put me in the “hate Notre Dame” column. That said, after squeaking out wins over Stanford and BYU, they finally have a signature win this year with only USC to worry much about. Tougher road for others, but if Alabama, Kansas State, and Oregon do run the table, look for a different kind of Championship controversy. Not sure about K State, but Bama and Ducks would beat them. Take that to the bank—like Oklahoma, uh—well, they have a chance.

  13. yeahbuddy3 says: Oct 28, 2012 1:13 AM

    Te’o is a beast!! Islander pride!

  14. rrussellndfan says: Oct 28, 2012 1:14 AM

    Called it!! Hate on ND some more golson is a beast on the road now ND just needs him to step up at home

  15. jcarrillo7828 says: Oct 28, 2012 1:36 AM

    Dear Vegas odds makers, Suck it!

  16. zemaniak says: Oct 28, 2012 2:01 AM

    Team win, special props though to #6 Russell, heckuva game and solid key tackles!

  17. poopiedumdum says: Oct 28, 2012 2:02 AM

    Blitz? Where are you? Oh that’s right…you are busy eating d*ck. can’t wait to troll every post you make. Eat sh*t. Wake up tomorrow a hater….king of the haters….. Stuck with the taste of an ass kicking in your mouth.

  18. londonlion81 says: Oct 28, 2012 4:45 AM

    At the start of the season, on this website, I predicted the Irish to go 10-2 and play in a BCS Bowl. Looks like I’m wrong.

    IT’S GONNA BE A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BABY!!

  19. shadeforourbattle says: Oct 28, 2012 7:33 AM

    Full disclosure, I am a Gator fan/SEC fan, and I thought that we were a year away at the start of this year, but they teased me and gave me hope up until this week. That said, no Irish fan seems to be talking about the biggest elephant in the room. That is Alabama and their head coach Nick Saban. Do you Irish fans really think that if ND faces Alabama that a freshman QB going up against a Nick Saban coached Defense that has had a month to game plan is going to have a great game because that is what you need in order to beat Alabama from your QB, because they do not beat themselves. I hate Alabama, but you have to respect a Coach who has won National Titles and Sec Titles at 2 different schools. Heck, an Offensive Lineman for Alabama who was National Player of the Year at Left Tackle is now their center because their backup at Left Tackle was that good. Great win against OU Irish, but get some perspective and look at things logically. Alabama’s Discipline, Coach, Defense and Offensive Line are the best in college football, nobody is close, and that is why they will win. Period.

  20. tg1896 says: Oct 28, 2012 7:54 AM

    I’m an SEC fan – but you people are getting to be truly obnoxious. You feel threatened by any team that ISN’T in the SEC. This article is about a great storyline in college football. It ISN’T about the SEC – it ISN’T about Alabama. You need to get a life.

    Great win ND. Way to stick it to the Haters.

  21. sisqsage says: Oct 28, 2012 8:15 AM

    What’s that we hear on a Sunday morn after a glorious victory on a college football Saturday?
    An echo. An echo.
    They have woken up indeed.

  22. blitz4848 says: Oct 28, 2012 10:00 AM

    @poopiedumdum
    Not a hater….NOT an OU fan either!!!
    Will be the first to admit I was dead wrong on the Irish and the Gators. The Irish r a damn good football team!
    I hope Bama,K-State & ND don’t all stay undefeated as then there will be one really sad fan base…..
    Oregon got hurt the worst yesterday……..
    SoCal & Oregon St losses hurts their strength of schedule

  23. packhawk04 says: Oct 28, 2012 4:23 PM

    Great game by the irish. Oklahoma was overrated, good to see them get put in their place. ND has a real shot at a NC if they can avoid alabama

  24. rrussellndfan says: Oct 28, 2012 4:55 PM

    ND all day in the championship if they win out. I like ND against Bama or KState. Oregon hasn’t shown anything to me until they beat a descent defense against USC or Stanford then ill say they deserve a shot. Hell USC dominated Colorado in the same fashion. Wish we had the playoff this year now.

  25. alvf2422 says: Oct 28, 2012 4:56 PM

    As some argue where Kansas State should be ranked, why won’t anyone compare their stats against Notre Dame’s insofar as their common opponent, Oklahoma?
    No question the Irish should be ranked ahead of K State.

  26. gorilladunk says: Oct 29, 2012 9:31 AM

    @alvf2422….you might want to also compare the stats both teams amassed against Miami (another common opponent you “conveniently” forgot). Still think ND should be “no question” ranked above K-State?

  27. foreverlsu says: Oct 29, 2012 10:29 AM

    Okay, I’m impressed! Congrats to the Irish! ND was very efficient on offense and swarming on defense. This should be very interesting to see who makes it to the title game. ND looked very deserving ..but so do the other unbeatens.

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