NORMAN — Oklahoma's national title hopes ended with Saturday night's 30-13 loss to Notre Dame.
The loss dropped the Sooners six spots to No. 14 in AP Top 25 and five spots in the USA Today coaches poll to No. 12.
The difference in the game was simply the ability to run the ball. Notre Dame rushed for 215 yards — 200 yards more than the Sooners. The rushing performance was OU's worst finishing with minus 16 yards in a 16-13 loss to Texas in 2009.
"We needed to run the football better than we did," OU coach Bob Stoops said late Saturday night. "But, again, they (the Fighting Irish) were doing a great job of defending the run and didn't give us much room to do it."
Notre Dame established early in the game it wasn't going to let OU get anything on the ground. It kept its base personnel on the field (a combination of seven defensive linemen and linebackers) on the field no matter how many wide receivers OU put out there.
The Sooners threw the ball 52 times out of 76 plays.
"That always is tough when you're not able to run it and when you throw it more than you want," Stoops said. "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."