Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma Sooners: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Oklahoma.
Final Score: 30-13 Notre Dame
Notre Dame makes a statement with a convincing win over the Sooners on the road, 30-13. Notre Dame was more impressive on both sides of the ball and showed on a national stage that they are a real BCS National Championship contender.
Brian Kelly has done a great job at turning this storied program back around and they look like they are setting themselves up for years of constant play in BCS contention.
Let's take a look at the final Oklahoma Sooner post game grades and evaluations.
Final Game Grade: B-
Landry Jones played well throughout the first three quarters but fell apart in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame gave him and his receivers short plays all night and Oklahoma was never able to get the deep ball working. Jones missed on a couple of throws that he probably wishes he had back, but overall it was an average performance. Jones has been playing with immense pressure on him all season following a disappointing 2011 season and it seems that the pressure has began affecting his play.
Overall Grade: C-
The running backs were a non-factor all game. They could not get anything going throughout the game and were the main reason the Sooners came up short. The only time the rushing game looked decent was when Blake Bell was in the game and the Irish were unable to bring him down. With the Irish doing anything possible to keep the passing game in front of them, it was disappointing to see the Sooners not try and bring more people into the box. If the Sooners could have forced Notre Dame to play more men in the box, the deep passing lanes would have opened up.
Final Game Grade: B
The wide recievers played well for what they were given. The Irish were content with giving up short passes and not allowing the Sooners to beat them deep. The reciving core did a decent job at creating plays but struggled to find any room behind the Irish defense. Kenny Stills remained silent for the majority of the game which is never good for the Sooners.
Overall Grade: N/A
The Sooners rarely used their tight ends in the passing game. The wide receivers took control of the passing game and the tight ends became a non-factor. The tight ends did a nice job in pass protection but failed in run protection, where the Sooners need them the most
Offensive Line: C-
Much like the tight ends, the offensive line did a great job during pass protection. They constantly gave Landry Jones enough time to deliver the pass. The result of this was fairly impressive passing numbers from Jones. Where the Offensive Line struggled was in run blocking. The Notre Dame front seven dominated the Sooners in the run game. the offensive line was unimpressive and overwhelmed and it cost the Sooners the ball game. If Oklahoma could of established the run early they would of been able to work both play action as well as the deep ball, two areas where the Sooners struggled.
Overall Game Grade: C-
The defensive line struggled to get any pressure on the Fighting Irish. The Irish were able to work the ball down the field and on the ground. The pressure that the Sooners should have gotten could have made a difference in the game. The Irish were able to drop back and pass with ease and establish a nice rhythm that they were able to operate in all night. In order to win games you need to be able to put pressure on the opposing quarterback and the Sooners were unable to do this.
Overall Grade: C+
The linebackers played decently for the Sooners. They were able to cover the dangerous tight ends of Notre Dame. They were able to stop the run for most of the night, which is a direct sign on how strong the play of the Oklahoma Linebackers was. The play of the linebackers kept the Sooners in the game and were the strongest unit of the defensive end.
Overall Grade: C-
The Sooners secondary was extremely disappointing against the Fighting Irish. They played well in the first half the solid play disappeared in the second half. The Sooners gave up big play after big play against the pass. To make matters worse it was against an offense that had struggled to move the ball through the air throughout the season.
Overall Grade: B
The Sooners special teams unit was impressive against the Fighting Irish. They covered well on both punt protection as well as kickoffs. They were exceptionally impressive on punt coverage, where they covered extremely well many times. They used this advantage to pin the Irish back in their own territory multiple times giving the Sooners a distinct advantage in the field position battle.
Overall Grade: D+
The same ole story for Coach Stoops and his Sooners. A big game and once again his team came up short. It is disappointing for a team as talented as the Sooners come up short against equal opponents. It is time for Stoops and his team to step their game up in big games. The next test will be getting past West Virginia and Oklahoma State, these two games will determine the Sooners BCS hopes. His team played well in the first half but they came up short in the second half, something that Oklahoma fans have become accustomed too in the Stoops era.