Notre Dame Fighting Irish Unlikely to Escape Norman With a W

By James Gomez
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Matt Cashore-US Presswire

Sorry, Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans, I’m that guy. You may want to look away for the next couple minutes. What I have to say won’t be pretty. Please believe I don’t like it any more than you do and try to understand I’m just the messenger.

This Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma, the Irish will be tested unlike any way they have been tested thus far in the 2012 season. Enter the Oklahoma Sooners. Invincible? OU is certainly not. Better than Notre Dame? Count on it.

I can hear Irish fans from sea to shining sea decrying my existence. My honesty doesn’t go down easy, but neither will what is about to transpire at 8 p.m. Eastern Saturday night.

Take a look at the tale of the tape, if numbers are more to your liking. Notre Dame is 78th in the FBS for points scored averaging a shade under 26 a game. Oklahoma is 7th, averaging 44.7 a game. OU also averages 100 more yards a game of total offense.

Two times this year ND has scored more than 20 points, a 50-10 win against the Navy Midshipmen and a 41-3 final with the Miami Hurricanes. Outside of those two less than average squads, points have been hard to come by for the Golden Domers.

But Notre Dame has a great defense, you say. Surely that will make up for the lack of offensive equality. Right?

Notre Dame’s D has been as good as anyone. Second in the FBS in points against at 9.4 and only giving up 280 yards a game, the Irish don’t mess around. However, the squad they’ll tangle with in Norman has a stout defense as well.

Holding opposing offenses to 15 points a game puts the Sooners at the 12th best scoring defense in the nation. Oklahoma has held several prolific offenses to well below their season average. Collin Klein and the Kansas State Wildcats got the better of the Sooners, but did so scoring 24 points, when they average 42.9.

Seth Doege and the Texas Tech Red Raiders managed 20 points on the Sooners, which is half of their season average. It was the same story with the Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl just a few weeks ago. Let us assume both OU and ND hold each other to half their season average for points scored. Oklahoma would win roughly 22-13. I think you get the point.

I didn’t say you would enjoy what I had to say, and I admit, there is a chance for the Irish to pull out a win. There is also a chance I pick up the winning powerball ticket at the corner Loaf N’ Jug.

Congrats to Notre Dame on what is sure to be the best season in years. A BCS bowl game is very much in play. Just don’t count on a win against the Sooners. I’m just the messenger.

James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow James on Twitter as well.

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