Monday, October 29, 2012
Notre Dame weekend rewind: Week 9
By Matt Fortuna
One last look at the Irish's biggest weekend in recent memory.
The good: Notre Dame proved it is a legitimate national title contender by escaping Norman, Okla., as 30-13 winners. The Irish are 8-0 and No. 3 in the current BCS rankings. And — something that's been overlooked during this dream run so far — the program has won eight games in three straight years for the first time since 1991 to '93. Remember when that seemed like a big talking point during the spring?
The bad: The Irish gave up a rushing touchdown for the first time this season and the first time since last year's senior-day win over Boston College. How dare they.
The ugly: Sooners WR Kenny Stills mouthed off to Irish CB Bennett Jackson after Stills' 34-yard touchdown catch on Oklahoma's last drive while down by 17 … except the touchdown was overturned and he was marked out of bounds at the 1. Then Stills tossed KeiVarae Russell on the next play on another touchdown catch … that was also brought back because of a blatant offensive pass interference call. Landry Jones was then sacked by Prince Shembo at his own 22, a fitting closure to the game.
Did you notice?: Three-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant was on the sideline — the Notre Dame sideline, the former Texas Longhorn clarified. (He did not sound as enthusiastic about the Thunder's trade of James Harden during the night. … Nor did Sooners center Gabe Ikard.)
Next up: Notre Dame hosts a Pitt team that may be as erratic as any team in the country. The Panthers have lost at home by double digits to an FCS team (Youngstown State), but they have also looked great, particularly in a rout of Virginia Tech. Last year's 15-12 Irish win at Heinz Field was not easy on the eyes. The Panthers are 4-4 under first-year coach Paul Chryst.