Memories of South Bend: OU’s last trip to South Bend, Ind., ended with a 34-30 loss in a game it lead by 16 points in the second half. The loss was the first of Bob Stoops’ career and it’s one he hasn’t forgotten.
“I remember us leading in the third quarter by 16 and looking around and seeing too many happy faces,” he said. “Meaning, I felt there were too many guys who thought that they had this won. Really realizing that we had not really learned how to truly compete yet for four quarters. The realization, too, I remember telling the coaches in meetings the next day, listen, they hadn’t been to anybody like that on the road before. They don’t know how to handle it and we’ve got to teach them how to handle it. Teach them how to finish games and to win a game like that. Those guys hadn’t been in that situation.”
Personnel update: Stoops said the Sooners should be at full strength for Monday’s practice.
“I don’t know that we have one,” he said.
The two main players that missed practices last week were safety Gabe Lynn (leg injury) and backup quarterback Trevor Knight (knee). Both returned to practice Monday. Also, running back Damien Williams, who was suspended for the Tulsa game, will play against Notre Dame.
The defensive line also picked up some depth. Sophomore defensive end Mike Onuoha has been cleared to practice. He’s been out with a shoulder injury he suffered last spring.
Reversal of traits: One of the major differences in Oklahoma’s game with Notre Dame in 2012 was the quarterbacks. Notre Dame’s Everett Golson rushed for 64 yards in the game. Landry Jones was sacked twice and finished with minus-16 yard on the ground.
The game will feature different quarterbacks Saturday and the Sooners will be the team with a running quarterback. Blake has rushed for 55 yards this season to go along with 24 career rushing touchdowns.
“Our quarterback is different than what we’ve had the last couple years, yes,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We have the ability with Blake to have more quarterback run game, or him having the opportunity to scramble a little better than some of the guys we’ve had in the past.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees has rushed minus-20 yards through four games.