Notre Dame proved they are a legitimate contender and worthy of top five distinction after marching into Norman on Saturday and stunning Oklahoma, 30-13.
The Sooners would trail 13-6 early in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of a short field to tie the game on a Blake Bell 1-yard touchdown run with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation. Notre Dame would answer with quarterback Everett Golson leading the Irish on a 73-yard touchdown drive capped by Golson's 1-yard run to give Notre Dame a 20-13 lead.
Oklahoma and quarterback Landry Jones would get the ball with 5:05 remaining, but after a third-down conversion, Jones threw a devastating interception to kill the Sooners' comeback hopes. Notre Dame would put the game away with a field goal and touchdown in the final minutes, highlighted by Theo Riddick's 15-yard scramble to give the Irish a 30-13 final margin.
Jones was 35-of-51 for 356 yards for Oklahoma, and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. For Notre Dame, Golson was 13-of-25 for 177 yards, with his ground game adding 64 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
ND celebration, twitter.com/slmandel/statu…— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 28, 2012
Box Score Hero: The Notre Dame defense held the prolific Oklahoma offense to just 379 yards and 20 points while forcing one turnover, with the Sooners just 3-of-13 on third down. A good chunk of that yardage came in garbage time in the final minute. Linebacker Monti Te'o, who is making a bid for the Heisman Trophy, forced a key interception late in the fourth quarter.
Rankings Ramifications: Oklahoma will certainly slip out of the top ten and will likely fall out of the top 15 after suffering two losses on the season. Both losses have come against top-5 teams, however, which could help them in the rankings.
But Did They Cover? Oklahoma fell far short of covering the 11-1/2 point spread, with the Sooners favored in the game.
Next Week's Schedule: Notre Dame heads home to take on Pittsburgh at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 3, with coverage on NBC. Oklahoma will face Iowa State at a time yet to be determined.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.