Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 7, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 57 of 111

murphy's Law dan murphy Irish Trip Out Of Gates Again A year after allowing only nine points in the first quarter during their 12-0 start, the Irish have surrendered 45 points in the opening frame over their last six games — which has resulted in a 3-3 mark. T here's a checklist that hangs on one of the many walls draped in motivational adages inside Notre Dame's football facility. It's a recipe of sorts. The four quarters of winning, head coach Brian Kelly calls it. The list is simple: attention to detail, effort and enthusiasm, finish strong, but above all of those, start fast. The first moments of the 35‑21 loss to No. 14 Oklahoma at Notre Dame Stadium were indeed fast — headspinningly so for Kelly and his offense. Senior Tommy Rees threw a pair of in‑ terceptions, which were converted into a pair of Sooners touchdowns before photo by Bill panzica three minutes had disappeared from the clock. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops stopped just short of calling the first eight plays "dream-like," but they were no doubt nightmarish for a Notre Dame team that has made a habit of sleepwalking its way through the first quarter this season. The most consistent trait of its 3‑2 month of September, the Irish haven't checked the fast start box since a sea‑ son-opening win over Temple. For the third time in four weeks, Notre Dame crawled into a double-digit deficit be‑ fore finding its rhythm. It's also the most glaring difference be‑

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