Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

September 27, 2013

No. 22 Irish have owned series with No. 14 Sooners

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says revenge won't be a factor when his 14th-ranked Sooners face No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Apparently, though, not all his players got the memo. At least a few Sooners say payback for a 30-13 loss last season, when the Irish scored 17 points in the final 6 minutes to turn a close game into a blowout to help Notre Dame get to the BCS title game, will be on their minds when the teams meet.

"I think revenge kind of goes into it," fullback Trey Millard.

"It's kind of just more so showing them that we can play just as good as them," linebacker Corey Nelson said.

It might sound odd to hear the Sooners (3-0), who have had more success in recent years than the Irish (3-1), are the ones talking about having something to prove. Keep in mind, though, Notre Dame has dominated the Sooners, winning nine of the 10 games between two of college football's most successful programs. The Irish have won under almost every circumstance.

The Sooners have lost when both teams finished 5-5 (1961), when the two finished with a combined 18-1-2 record in 1953, when Oklahoma was good at 8-3 and Notre Dame was mediocre at 5-5 (1962) — even when the Sooners had won consecutive national championships and were on an NCAA-record 47-game winning streak (1957).

The only time the Sooners won was during its 1956 national championship season, when Oklahoma traveled to South Bend and beat an Irish team that finished 2-8 by a score of 40-0 in what remains the most lopsided home loss in Notre Dame Stadium history.

Stoops said history will have no bearing on Saturday's game.

"I can't do anything for everybody else. I'd kind of like to win for our team and for us," Stoops said.

The victory last season at Oklahoma did more than make doubters believe in Notre Dame. It gave the Irish confidence.

"On offense, defense and special teams I think that was our best game," cornerback Bennett Jackson said. "It was a huge kick for us."

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the Irish believe they can do it again.

"They know that they can beat Oklahoma, but they know they're going to have to play mistake free," Kelly said.

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