Golson, Riddick key No. 5 Notre Dame’s win over No. 8 Oklahoma
Norman, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Quarterback Everett Golson scored on a one-yard touchdown and Theo Riddick added a 15-yard rushing score to help No. 5 Notre Dame pull away in the final period en route to a 30-13 win over No. 8 Oklahoma Saturday at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
The win kept the Fighting Irish perfect after eight games for their best start in 10 years while the Sooners suffered their second loss in seven outings.
Golson completed 13 of 25 throws for 177 yards with no touchdown but led the Fighting Irish’s 20-point assault in the final period that turned a close game into a runaway victory.
“Finally, I thought that Golson led our team. He had obviously been challenged to continue to grow and it’s been a process but I thought tonight was a big step up for our quarterback and our offense elevated itself against a great competition on the road,” said head coach Brian Kelly.
Riddick carried the ball 19 times for 74 yards and a score while Cierre Woods contributed 74 yards on seven rushes with a touchdown as Notre Dame running backs outplayed their Oklahoma counterparts in yards gained, 215-15.
Senior linebacker Manti Te’o finished with a team-high 11 tackles, his sixth double-digit game for the season and 24th of his career, and had a late interception that sealed Notre Dame’s victory.
“We understand that every team will have a surge and we prepare for that every week. We responded and came up with a stop,” said Te’o, a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy this season.
Sooners quarterback Landry Jones completed 35 of 51 passes for 356 yards with no touchdown. His passing output raised his career total to 14,387 yards, passing Hawaii’s Colt Brennan for 6th in NCAA history.
Jones also surpassed the 300-yard passing mark for the 24th time in his career, extending an Oklahoma record but his interception late in the fourth period blew Oklahoma’s chances of getting back in the game.
Wide receiver Jalen Saunders broke Oklahoma’s record for most receptions in a quarter with eight in the first quarter and his 15 receptions tied a school record with Ryan Broyles, who had 15 catches against Iowa State in 2010.
Saunders 181 receiving yards was the eighth-highest total by an Oklahoma player in school history and the most since Broyles’ school record of 217 yards against Kansas in 2011.
“I thought I did pretty well. I have a lot to improve on. I can’t just sit on this, despite everything I did tonight for my team. I feel bad for the loss, and I just hate to see it happen. We’ll just have to get back on Monday, and get back to work,” Saunders said.
Jones led the Sooners to an eight-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard field goal from Michael Hunnicutt for the game’s first points.
Wood then responded with a 62-yard touchdown run and Kyle Brindza added a 34-yard field goal to give the Fighting Irish a 10-3 advantage in the second quarter before the Sooners closed the half with a 30-yard field goal from Hunnicutt.
Brindza gave the Irish a one-touchdown lead with a 44-yard field goal but sophomore quarterback Blake Bell scored on a one-yard touchdown run to tie the count at 13.
Then, Golson took over, scoring on a one-yard run before Brindza’s 46-yard field goal and Riddick’s short scoring burst wrapped it up for the Irish.