Well, we’re about here. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish is the 5th best team in the country, undefeated, and heading to Oklahoma to play the 8th ranked Sooners. I don’t have to mention how important of a match up this is for both teams, as both teams need a win to keep their BCS hopes alive. I’d argue this game is more important to Notre Dame because they’re undefeated and a have at a national title. Oklahoma got smoked by Kansas State at home, and they don’t have the schedule to jump over an Oregon even if they lose a game.
Notre Dame has the best defense in the country. That’s fine and dandy, but Oklahoma has one heck of an up tempo offense that is going to want to move the ball and put pressure on Notre Dame’s shoddy offense. Quick hitters across the middle and a no huddle offense is going to pressure Notre Dame’s defense more than any team on their schedule up to date. How can they combat that? In my opinion- it’s simple. Run the football. Notre Dame has 2 running backs that can get the job done, and it’s going to be up to them to move the chains, control the clock, control the tempo, and put the game in the hands of a very capable defense. If the offensive line can open up some holes for Theo Reddick and Cierre Wood, Notre Dame is in good shape. I’m not sure Brian Kelly can trust either Tommy Rees and Everett Golson in a game like this, so I expect him to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers and grind out a close matchup.
If Notre Dame is forced to throw a lot, they’re going to be in trouble. The crowd in Oklahoma is going to make it very tough on the offense and again- Notre Dame’s QB situation isn’t the best of situations.
We’ll see what happens, but this is as good a test as Notre Dame can ask for. To be the best, you have to beat the best. To be the best, you have to play your best when the moment counts.
I really hope Notre Dame can find a way here, because there’s nothing better than watching this team “Return to Glory.”