SOUTH BEND, Ind. —
Notre Dame couldn’t because OU did. The Sooners finished the game with a nine-minute edge in time of possession and ran out the final 5:39 minutes of the game. After Rees’ 54-yard touchdown pass to Trey Niklas early in the fourth quarter, the Irish didn’t have another first down. Rees threw for just 104 yards in the game and was just 9 for 24 on the day.
All week long OU’s coaching staff harped on the importance of the fourth quarter. The game was Stoops’ third against Notre Dame. He’d lost the previous two in the fourth quarter.
“We definitely had a big chip on our shoulder,” Shepard said. “The coaches were talking about how they were ahead back in the day (by 16 points) and they ended up coming back and beating them in the fourth quarter. We stressed keep pushing in the fourth quarter and finish the game off.”
The Sooners did, and will the reap the benefits of it. How far the win takes them is up to OU. It returns to Owen Field next Saturday to play TCU. But Saturday could be the last time it faces a ranked team until November.
“I think we’re all going the right direction right now. Getting this win is big-time for the program,” Bell said. “We’ve still got a long ways to go.”
But OU is a team that’s improved in every game. When push came to shove Saturday, it was even able to change its luck against the Irish.
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