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Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma: Irish will be without George Atkinson III

Notre Dame running back and kick returner George Atkinson III did not travel with the team to Oklahoma due to flu-like symptoms, according to a report.

Jonathan Daniel

Notre Dame sophomore running back George Atkinson III didn't make the trip to Norman, Okla. for Saturday night's game against the Sooners because of flu-like symptoms, according to an ESPN report.

This means the Fighting Irish will be without one of their most dynamic players when they match up with Oklahoma in one of the biggest games of the season. Atkinson is the Irish's third option at running back, but he's the No. 1 kick returner and a large contributor to the special teams unit (eight kicks for 155 yards).

Atkinson boasts a team-best 8.1 yards per carry with 301 rushing yards on just 37 attempts this season. The sophomore has four touchdowns this season, which inclues scores of 56 and 55 yards.

With Notre Dame off to its best start in 10 years, a win against Oklahoma would improved the fifth-ranked Irish to 8-0 on the season. .

The Sooners are 5-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big 12 and winners of their last three games by 21 points or more.