Tough loss. It's easy to overreact to it.
But Notre Dame made plays all game, as did its young quarterback. All in all, ND pretty much played its best game of the year. ND is much better on defense than anyone OU has played, including KSU. ND's running attack is as good as anyone in the Big 12, including KSU.
*Jalen Saunders' role in the offense will continue to grow. Landry Jones has already developed a quick rapport with him, admittedly at the expense of developing Sterling Shepard, Trey Metoyer and Durron Neal. The only downside is that Saunders' conditioning is not quite ready for the pace of OU's no-huddle offense.
*Landry didn't play badly from a ball-protection standpoint. He made some nice throws and certainly wasn't the reason that OU lost the game.
The interception wasn't his fault – whether there was pass interference on the play is debatable.
*The offensive line was able to protect long enough to give Landry time. Now, ND did not go for an all out pressure approach, but overall Landry was protected, save for one bust that led to the sack.
*For the most part, OU won't play anyone else that is able to execute "the blueprint" for beating the Sooners. Doesn't mean OU will win out, but the weaknesses will be less obvious against the bad defenses/spread offenses of the Big12.
*OU was unable to force ND out of its base defense or run the ball effectively. In fact, the number of runs called was probably too high.
*Aaron Colvin and Demontre Hurst had their first really bad games. Colvin got worked, and Hurst gave up the bomb in the fourth quarter. The average Irish wide receivers outplayed the elite OU CBs.
*ND's passing game was helped greatly by the fact that ND was in 2nd-and-five all night. OU's nagging weakness in run defense reared its head again.
*OU is very vulnerable to being spread out against a mobile QB running the zone read with two or three WRs or a flexed-out tight end. OU's defensive tackles are good, not great. They were being pushed around all game. OU's defensive ends don't play the run well. Finally, OU's linebackers against a power running game are vulnerable to being blocked. OU's lack of size at MIKE was again a problem.
*Two bad snaps by Gabe Ikard. One was due to a very late change of play at the line. It killed OU's first drive where the Sooners were moving at will through the air, effectively ending the first series and OU's chance to grab a lead
to put the Irish on their heels. Down 10 late in the game, the second bad snap killed OU's fleeting chance at a magic comeback.
*I'm sure Bronson Irwin did hold on Blake Bell's disallowed TD run. But there was holding going on all night by both OU and ND. It was a very "ugly" call in terms of timing.
*Could OU have used the Belldozer more to change up the ND defense and run the ball more?
*Should OU have thrown the ball more out of its base look?
*Should OU have gone downfield more?
*Where were the throws to Trey Millard down the seam?