Notre Dame 30, OU 13 | October 27, 2012 | Norman, Okla.
Return to Recap
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"I want to start off by complimenting Notre Dame for playing an excellent, tough football game. They really made the key plays, in particular, down the stretch when they had to have them. What a heck of a football game. I told my players I was very proud of how they fought, how they competed, how hard they played and all of that. We just needed to be a few plays better in some areas.
"The game, when you get down to it, there's a little over five minutes to go in the game, and it's a 13-13 game. You're where you want to be to have a chance to win, and we give up the big play, which we haven't done much all year at all, and it sets up the touchdown. We try to come back and there's another judgement call on the interception, but in the end of that stretch they made some plays and we didn't.
"Offensively, we did some good things, moved the ball, but we didn't convert enough third downs. That was an issue. We needed to run the football better than we did. But, again, they're doing a great job of defending the run and didn't give us much room to do it.
"Defensively, I can live with most of the game but the two plays. The one early touchdown was a big play and the one late pass. Credit them; there were some tight third-down receptions that they caught and just made the first down. They out-jumped us or out-fought us for the ball here or there. There were very competitive plays where our guys were in great position, but they were able to get up and get the football in some tight spots. Again, they made some key plays that way that picked up first downs and helped move the football for them. I thought overall it was a heck of a football game, and we came out on the bad end."
On Notre Dame converting big plays off play-action:
"That's an issue with everyone. But, I thought, truthfully, as many times as they ran it outside of the big run, you can live with it. I thought we were in good shape. I think we needed to play that one pass better. They had some moves and some stuff that's going to happen, and we were in good position on those and making competitive plays, or they made them. We were where we needed to be. There was a lot of play-action passes out there and only one really was a big consequence."
On QB Landry Jones performance:
"I thought Landry, for the most part, played pretty well. I thought our protection was really good against a great d-line. He was 26-38 for 287, only one sack and the one interception comes as a judgement call. If it's judged on the field differently, it probably stands the other way."
On WR Jalen Saunders performance:
"Jalen had a great night. He's an excellent player catching the football, running after the catch. He played well."
On not being able to run the ball consistently:
"That always is tough when you're not able to run it and when you throw it more than you want. Again, off the run we had a lot of nice play-action passes that got us some yards. Sometimes, even if you're not picking up the yardage you want, the fact that you continue to try makes them continue to have to work and then you have some opportunities with some play-action passes."
On missed opportunities:
"We had it in the endzone, and again, it's a judgement call, they call holding. Those are frustrating situations, but that's the way it is. We didn't get the calls."
On the offense's performance:
|| Co-Offensive Coord. Josh Heupel
"In both our losses, there were opportunities early to get more points and make a change on the way the game was played a little bit. Didn't do that [tonight]. Did some things really well, at times. Did some good things in tempo, and sometimes our tempo wasn't good, and we didn't execute well enough. Ultimately, [if] you just don't execute the way you need to against a really good defense, a good football team, you won't win the ballgame."
On being able to involve wide receiver Jalen Saunders:
"Defensively, they don't give up a bunch of big plays. Some of that's their scheme, also that they are really good. We felt like their second level was extremely agressive, so we had to find some ways to get in behind them and in front of the safeties, and Jalen was a big part of that tonight."
On going 4-14 on third-down conversions:
"That ultimately has a big impact on the outcome of the game. There are not many times that you're going to win when you go 4-14 on third down. You've got to find a way to do better there."
On if it was frustrating to not produce offensively in the late third and early fourth quarters:
"We took the first drive down, and we actually moved it downfield, and we got stopped. I think we are on the plus 45, plus 40. We're going tempo. We run it on second down, and all of a sudden we're third and long and didn't convert. Ultimately, this is a team. It's offense, defense, special teams, everything working together, and we just weren't good enough across the board."
On quarterback Landry Jones' performance:
"Landry played really efficiently tonight. Did a good job when we were in tempo, took care of the football, was decisive. At times, early, could have been a little bit better at settling his feet down in the pocket, but I thought he did a really good job tonight."
On the defense's performance:
|| Defensive Coord. Mike Stoops
"Kind of a tough night. Most of the night [we] struggled in some areas. I thought [Everett] Golson made it difficult for us. He can do some things with the football. I thought he threw it effectively. He's the guy that makes things a little bit uncomfortable for you. I thought he played an excellent football game.
"I thought they ran the ball effectively in that they made things, anytime somebody can run the football, your secondary has to start biting down on the run, and they can go over the top, and that's kind of what happened in the fourth quarter. That was disappointing. Everytime we got momentum in the game, we kind of lost it immediately. That's the disappointing part.
"Fourth quarter, in these two losses, we just didn't play good enough against football teams. Our execution wasn't good enough really in any capacity. That was disappointing that we didn't play well down the stretch. I didn't think our coverage was as good as it was all year. I thought we broke down in some technique errors, so just little things, but again, they just out-executed us and out-played us."
"I thought they [Notre Dame] made some plays. We didn't have great calls on a couple of them, and that's our fault from a staff position, and putting them in a little bit better position to make some plays. Just struggled with the rhythm of the game and a lot of that is credited to the quarterback [Everett Golson] and their ability to run the football better than anybody we really have faced, the way they run it.
"Our run defense wasn't good enough today either. Again, it's the first time somebody probably ran at us like this, so we've got to make sure we're doing the right thing. I thought our kids played hard, and we made them work."
On the offense:
|| Senior QB Landry Jones
"It was just one of those things where we moved it well. We threw and caught it well, but we get down to that thirty-five yard line, and things kind of splinter down. But, congrats to Notre Dame.They're a good defense, and they kind of controlled this game."
On Notre Dame's performance:
"If their defense knows you're going to just drop back and throw it, it makes things a little bit tougher. That hurt us a little bit and at the end of the day you have to score points. They kind of just beat us, and they were better tonight. You can't really beat around the bush with that kind of thing when you play a game like that. They just flat out beat us."
On the fumbled snap:
"We were going tempo, and the refs were kind of late with the ball. We decided to go non-tempo, and there was miscommunication between me and Gabe. It's not Gabe's fault, and it's not my fault, it's just something that kind of happened."
On the rest of the season:
"We are so much better than we were at the start of the season. We hit a little bump in the road, but it's going to work out. Maybe the national championship isn't in the picture anymore, but we still have the Big 12 and a bowl game up in front of us. We just have to see what kind of character we have and how much we like playing football. We love this game, and sure, we wanted things to go differently tonight, but at the end of the day, that's not the way it worked out."
On the first quarter, fumbled snap:
|| Junior OL Gabe Ikard
"We changed the play and there was miscommunication between myself and Landry. I snapped it when I normally snap it, and nothing good came from that. That was a huge drive kill for our team. On that first drive we were really rolling, and it's unfortunate that it happened. We eventually got that worked out though."
On Notre Dame's defense:
"They played very vanilla defense all night. They're just really talented guys; really strong. They have players that get off blocks well, and they stuffed us in the run game. They were able to drop eight a lot of the time. It was a disappointing performance for us on offense, but I thought the defense played well. We put them in some bad spots and didn't play nearly as well as we need to on third down."
On Notre Dame's defense shutting down the run game:
"They just made us play inside a box. They set that edge really well with their really talented defensive ends, and were closing everything inside. They've got three 300 pounders on their front. They are really talented guys that just shed blocks well. We ran it for six or seven a pop, but we weren't consistent enough."
On the team coming back out fighting next week:
|| Sophomore QB Blake Bell
"Like Coach Stoops was saying, tonight was a non-conference, and huge game for Oklahoma. Everyone would have loved to get the victory, but we can't stop competing or stop giving everything that we have, every day at practice. All we can do is get ready for Iowa State."
On the fumbled snap taking some of the wind out:
"I don't think it was Gabe's [Ikard] fault and it wasn't Landry's [Jones] fault. It was one of those deals where you check the play. It was kind of loud and Gabe can't hear, all of a sudden he thinks the snap count is this or that. Stuff like that happens. Those two will bounce back and we'll be fine."
On throwing out of Belldozer package:
"We've been working on a lot of different stuff all week. It was a time when Coach Heupel called it and we did a great job executing. Trey [Millard] caught it and did what he could to get a first down."
On his OU record-setting performance:
|| Junior WR Jalen Saunders
"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."
On the play of Notre Dame's secondary:
"They did a great job preparing for this game. They did a great job the whole day playing defense."
On finding it hard to see positives from a loss:
"Of course it is hard to see. I'm not a person to sit on my accolades, stats or anything. I love winning - that's why I play football. I like playing with other people, I just like winning. It just hurts to lose a game like this because we've been preparing all week."
On Notre Dame's performance:
|| Junior FB Trey Millard
"Their front seven, they beat us, myself included in that. You can't win against a team like that with only 22 yards rushing."
On starting the game with one possession:
"That's definitely not how we wanted to start. They're a good team though. Their offense was out there and had two great drives and kept us off the field. We didn't want to do that but obviously they played well."
On how this loss affects the team's character:
"I think our character showed in this game. There was no quit. No give up in our team. We even had a drive in the end half a yard away from scoring. We know that we're not going to quit on this team. We're going to be in a fight and we know that every game is a challange where we have to come out and execute."
On expectations for Notre Dame:
|| Junior DB Tony Jefferson
"The offense did a great job. The have some good plays but we definitely prepared for it. They executed and we didn't stop them."
On the team's reaction:
"It hurt. This one hurt a lot. We have to show some character and turn around. We have five games left to see what we can do."
On the rest of the season:
|| Junior LB Tom Wort
"This team is not going to fold. I haven't seen our team fold at all. With the rest of the games left, whenever we've had a loss, we've come back stronger. It's really disappointing that we lost but in no way is this team going to quit."
On Notre Dame's performance:
"They're a great team. They executed. I don't think they made a single mistake. We made a couple mistakes. When you go against a good team like that you can't make mistakes. They're a solid team that didn't make any mistakes. All the credit in the world to them. The defense played great, they shut down our offense, and the offense played great and managed to score on us when we hadn't been putting up points."
|| Head Coach Brian Kelly
"Well our kids were confident. They came in well prepared. I told them that I was very confident in their ability to go out on the road and play very good football. I thought that they exhibited that confidence in the first half and in the second half the focus was on physical and mental toughness.
"The team that would win this game would control it in that manner. I thought we did it. The third quarter was huge for us. We controlled the football and limited the posessions for Oklahoma and I think the big play in the game was obviously the big response after the touchdown throw to Chris Brown. That gave us a spark and we were able to build off of that.
"Finally, I thought that Everett 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 compettition on the road."
On the defense:
"It's been a consistent part of why we're here. I mean week in and week out we have structured the game plan to keep the points down. We were willing to give up yardage in the passing game today to keep the points down. We could not let the points get to a point where we are not offensively at a point where we can outscore a team like Oklahoma. So I thought the defense did a great job with the plan, we stuck with the plan, and it proved to be a good one."
On what this win means for the program:
"This is the constinency we need as a program. We've got to win on the road against top-10 teams. Now we've been confronted with earlier in the season a top-10 opponent in Michigan State and we beat them on the road, and then again against Oklahoma. Those are the things you have to continue to do to build your football program. It's another step for us. This does not mean we have in any shape or form 'arrived'. We've got a lot of work to continue to to work towards but it's a real big step for our team to know we can go on the road and play with anybody."
On how the team prepared and came into the game:
"The whole week the didn't talk about Oklahoma. They talked about what they needed to do to play well today. They've handled themselves very well, and that's why I was confident. They put in the time and preparation to be successful today. Now you have to go out and make plays. We made some plays out there today. But this was a group that was very confident because they've done the work necessary to be successful on Saturdays. It's not just, 'I hope we play well today.' They knew they were going to play well."
On how the win feels:
|| Junior DB Bennett Jackson
"It's a great feeling. Every game it's a great feeling to win. We take each game one game at a time and we're just happy we got a win."
On if people picking OU to win helped motivate:
"It just shows that everyone doubts us and doesn't respect us. But we go out each week and play to the best of our ability and try and pull out the win."
On if the game felt like a statement game:
|| Sophomore QB Everett Golson
"It probably does. I'm just glad we got the win it was a great team effort. We came out and fought and I'm really proud of the team for doing that.
On his thoughts after the tying touchdown:
"Zero to zero again. I never really try to have the scoreboard influence what I feel. I'm not the type of guy to fumble under pressure. My whole goal was to show everyone that we could do this."
On if he would've handled it the same way six weeks ago: "I don't think I would. I think that's partially because of the game experience and it's also because the guys around me. I can admit that six or seven weeks ago I didn't really feel that I was ready."
On what this win means:
"It means a lot. We're 8-0 but my mind is focusing on Pitt right now. We're definitely going to celebrate but we just have to take it one game at a time. You can't just stop and look up because if you do you'll miss your opportunity."
On the environment:
"The environment was great. I kind of like playing away. I think it's because I like when people count me out, that's how I've always been."
On the pass to Brown:
"We saw the man-to-man coverage and I think the play-action kind of set it up. Brown ended up winning and made a great move. I just stepped up in the pocket and gave it a little bit of air."
On surviving OU's tempo:
|| Senior LB Manti Te'o
"We understand that every team will have a surge and we prepare for that every week. We responded and came up with a stop."
On if they reached a new level with this win:
"For us, we knew what we could do. Today is no surprise. We knew that if we came into today and worked with confidence that we would be fine."
On the Notre Dame offense chewing up the clock:
"That was a big help. It kept us fresh and allowed us to make corrections that we needed to. It was a great team win."
On if he feels Notre Dame is the best team in the country:
"I think we're on our way but we still have a lot of work to do."