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ND wins on the ground

Andrew Owens | Monday, October 29, 2012

NORMAN, Okla. – The high-powered Sooner offense possessed the ball for 10:04 in the first quarter, but only 17:28 of the final 45 minutes as the No. 5 Irish controlled the tempo for most of their 30-13 win at No. 8 Oklahoma on Saturday.

With its 215 rushing yards compared to Oklahoma’s 15, Notre Dame won its 12th consecutive game when accumulating 200-plus yards on the ground. The Irish are 39-2 since the start of the 2005 season when outrushing their opponent.

“The team that would win this game would control it in that manner,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “I thought we did it. The third quarter was huge for us. We controlled the football and limited the possessions for Oklahoma.”

Running away

Irish senior running back Cierre Wood jumpstarted the Irish offense with a 62-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. It was the longest career of and topped a previous best of 55 yards at Purdue in 2011. Wood’s run was the team’s longest since Jonas Gray’s 79-yard score at Pittsburgh last season.

“The one early touchdown was a big play,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “They made some key plays that way that picked up first downs and helped move the football for them.”

Contact Andrew Owens at aowens2@nd.edu