Notre Dame suffered a frustrating 35-21 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. The Irish were plagued by turnovers, penalties and big plays. Writing the column for the negatives would certainly be easier. But, the glass is always half full and the Irish can take away some things from today’s loss. Here are some positives from the loss:
Irish Rush For 220 yards
Yesterday, Notre Dame went over the 200 yard mark for the first time in 2013. George Atkinson III finally showed that he could tote the rock for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame probably would have run for more than 220 yards if the Irish were not playing from behind. However, Atkinson will need to continue to run like that the rest of the year for Notre Dame to be successful. Freshman Tarean Folston also showed a great burst on his 36 yard run.
Notre Dame Endures
Despite falling behind 14-0 Notre Dame was able to make it a respectable game, playing the Sooners even for about 50 minutes. Since Kelly has taken over at Notre Dame, the Irish have become mentally tougher than their opponents. The team simply does not quit. Why they are not ready to go from the first whistle is another question.
Tough Schedule Finished
Notre Dame only has two remaining game against ranked teams (Arizona State and Stanford). The Irish can at least finish 8-4 if they win in the games in which they are favored. However, they still have an opportunity to go 9-3 or 10-2 if they can be either or both of the ranked teams. Notre Dame opens as a 6.5 point underdog to Arizona State but this is a very winnable game for the Fighting Irish.