The Norman Transcript

OU Football

September 25, 2013

OU’s Saunders recalls bitter taste from loss to Irish

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Although, the Fighting Irish’s running attack appears to have regressed from 2012. They averaged 189.38 rushing yards per game in 2012. Through four games this season, the average is 114.2.

Wrong century: OU is 1-8 all-time against Notre Dame and OU’s players and coaches are getting tired of hearing about the record. In the players’ case, only last season’s 30-13 loss at Owen Field was a game they played in. The rest of the games were played in the 20th Century, which is something OU linebacker Corey Nelson pointed out Monday.

“I wasn’t here back in the 1900s whenever we played them,” he said.

Of the nine previous games, seven were played prior to 1968. Half of OU’s coaching staff — offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, special teams coordinator Jay Boulware, running backs coach Cale Gundy, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery — were not alive for the first seven meetings.

Going deep: OU quarterback Blake Bell hit a couple of deep passes in his first start against Tulsa. He’ll need to hit more of them against Notre Dame.

Heupel believes consistently hitting some deep passes is the one aspect that has held the offense back since the season opener.

“We haven’t been nearly as efficient as we can be and need to be with our deep balls. That’s everybody playing a part. It’s protection. You can point to a couple of things in the first ball game. It’s competitiveness on the outside and the wide receivers making a play. The quarterbacks being better throwing it too,” he said. “It’s all those three things that have to come together. We’re going to need to hit one or two of those.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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