Notre Dame football: Sooners make most of ND mistakes
Three first-half interceptions and a defense that failed to come up with the big stop when the football game was on the line conspired to derail Notre Dame.
Oklahoma (4-0) jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead, then held on for a 35-21 victory (3-2) Saturday.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees threw three interceptions, two within the first three minutes of the game. The first was returned 24 yards for a touchdown by Corey Nelson. The second, by Frank Shannon, was turned into a TD four plays later.
The 14th-ranked Sooners' third pick, by Julian Wilson, was followed by an Oklahoma drive that was climaxed by a Blake Bell-to-Lacolton Bester 26-yard scoring pass.
While Rees struggled through the air, the 22nd-ranked Irish found some success on the ground. George Atkinson rushed for 148 yards on 14 carries, including an 80-yard burst for a TD.
Rees hit TJ Jones for a six-yard scoring pass and Troy Niklas for a 30-yard touchdown after the Sooners' blown coverage.
Rees finished 9-of-24 for 104 yards and three picks.