Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame final score: Sooners grind out 35-21 win

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners had an answer every time the Irish pressed the issue, and they leave South Bend with a 35-21 win as a result.

The Oklahoma Sooners avenged a loss at home last year by returning the favor to Notre Dame, going into South Bend and coming away with a 35-21 win.

The opening minutes of the game were a disaster for the Irish, as Tommy Rees threw two interceptions in the first three minutes of the game. The first was returned for a touchdown by Corey Nelson, and the second directly led to a Damien Williams touchdown run. The blowout that some were calling for never materialized, though, and Rees was able to pull Notre Dame back with a touchdown pass to TJ Jones before the end of the first quarter.

The two teams seemed to settle into a lull at that point, but the Sooners were able to score again right before half on a Bell pass to Lacoltan Bester with less than a minute remaining.

Notre Dame came out early in the second half with an answer via George Atkinson III's 80-yard touchdown run, but every time it seemed like Notre Dame was about to fully close the gap, Oklahoma responded. They hit a pair of field goals in the third quarter after the Atkinson touchdown, and they scored a touchdown less than two minutes after Notre Dame scored to open the fourth quarter.

Box Score Hero:

Blake Bell may have missed a couple minutes with a cramp, but he was the standard-bearer for the Sooners. He was an efficient 22-30 for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries.

Rankings Ramifications:

Oklahoma was ranked 14th in the AP poll and 12th in the USA Today poll entering Saturday, and they could move up to around 10 with the win. The Irish came into the game ranked 22nd in both polls, and will likely drop just outside the top 25 with the loss.

But Did They Cover?

Oklahoma was a 3.5 point favorite at kickoff, so they covered the spread.

For More On This Game:

For more on the Sooners, check out Crimson and Cream Machine.

For more on the Irish, head over to One Foot Down.

Next Week's Schedule:

Oklahoma: 10/5, vs. TCU

Notre Dame: 10/5, vs. Arizona State (in Dallas)

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