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And in that corner… The Oklahoma Sooners

Oct 24, 2012, 10:00 AM EST

Texas v Oklahoma Getty Images

Broken streaks. Stolen slogans. Biggest game in a decade. It’s the kind of hype most Notre Dame fans didn’t see possible heading into this season, but with the Irish at 7-0 and No. 5 in the country, just about every fan under the Golden Dome is hoping for this magical ride to continue.

If it will, Notre Dame will have to pull off their most impressive road win in a decade. Beating Bob Stoops’ Sooners, a squad that has an outrageous 79-4 record at home, will be a herculean task. To give us a better idea of what the Irish are up against, I’ve brought in the Oklahoman’s Jason Kersey, who covers the daily beat on the Sooners. In an incredibly busy week, Jason has gone above and beyond for us, and he’s laid out some really strong stuff.

Let’s get right down to it.

1. Before the season, this game looked like a good one. Now it looks like a great one. Most had Oklahoma pegged as an elite team, not many had Notre Dame there. Bob Stoops called this the biggest game his team’s had since 2000. Could that possibly be the case? Just how fired up are the Sooners (and their fans) for this game?

I definitely think — especially from the fans’ perspective — the Notre Dame game is the most anticipated home game since Nebraska in 2000. That game had a special feel to it because the Sooners were nationally relevant again after the largely forgettable 1990s. In Bob Stoops’ second year, the Sooners were ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings, and Nebraska came in at No. 1. Add in the classic Oklahoma-Nebraska, Barry Switzer-Tom Osborne rivalry from the Big Eight era, and it just made the whole thing such a special moment in Sooner football history.

OU has been in a couple top-10 battles since then — the most memorable coming when the 2008 Sooners beat No. 2 Texas Tech in a rout, which ultimately vauled the Sooners into the national title game — but the reason Nebraska in 2000 and Notre Dame in 2012 are being compared is mostly because of history. This Saturday’s game was already going to be special for OU fans because it pits traditional powers, the Irish snapped Bud Wilkinson’s 47-game win streak and the fact that Notre Dame football hasn’t visited Norman since 1966.

But the excitement surrounding this game has increased exponentially because of how good Notre Dame has played so far. With OU having one loss, this game is viewed by everyone around the program as a huge opportunity to knock off a top-5 team on national television and jump all the way back in the national-title conversation.

OU players really don’t seem to know or care all that much about OU’s 1-8 record against Notre Dame, the busted win streak or the Fighting Irish’s 13 national titles. They’re fired up to face a great team at home with so many of their 2012 goals on the line.

2. Notre Dame feels battle-tested after beating seven legitimate opponents to start the season, even if some of those teams have disappointed. The Sooners have played three mediocre teams (UTEP, Florida A&M, and Kansas ) looked really good against Texas and Texas Tech, while losing to a K-State team that was flying under the radar.

The common thought is that the Sooners are playing their best football at an opportune time. Is that the case? If so, what did this team need to straighten out?

Yes, Oklahoma is absolutely playing its best football right now, and yes, it couldn’t come at a better time. With a No. 8 BCS ranking and a pretty tough remaining schedule, the Sooners are right in the thick of the BCS race, which seemed crazy to even think about after the first three games of the season. Less than two months ago, this very team was clinging to a 10-7, fourth-quarter lead on UTEP for crying out loud.

The early-season struggles can be attributed to a lot of things, but I think the biggest causes were inexperience at offensive line and receiver, which each caused QB Landry Jones to have some early problems, and adjusting to Mike Stoops’ tweaked defensive system.

Entering the Notre Dame game, though, OU’s defense looks excellent. The receivers have developed quickly, and the offensive line has jelled. The Sooners’ line lost two seniors — center Ben Habern and guard Tyler Evans — to season-ending injuries right around the time fall camp started. Those guys had 59 career starts between them.

3. Oklahoma’s defense has been solid with Mike Stoops back in Norman. It certainly isn’t the Sooners’ biggest or most physical group, but the secondary seems to be a strength and they’ve been pretty good against the run. Is Notre Dame’s resurgent running game its best shot to put up points on the Sooners? Is there a match-up that looks good for the Irish?

The defense has really been pretty good for most of the season, with a few breakdowns here and there early on. UTEP running back Nathan Jeffery had a big game in the opener. Kansas State had success in the fourth quarter that allowed the Wildcats to win, but for the first three quarters, OU really handled Collin Klein and the KSU offense pretty well.

The biggest difference in the OU defense between its first three and last three games has been takeaways. The Sooners only forced one turnover in the first three, but over the last three, they’ve got nine takeaways.

The secondary has definitely been a strength. Mike Stoops’ scheme really funnels plays to the defensive backs, which is why they are many of OU’s leading tacklers. Juniors Aaron Colvin and Tony Jefferson have been the defense’s top players this season.

Considering how OU’s 2011 season ended, it’s crazy to think how good the secondary is playing right now. That very unit — and most of those very players — was largely responsible for OU’s three losses last year.

I think Notre Dame will give itself its best chance at success by finding ways to stay on the field and control the clock with the run game. With how good this defense is playing right now, it won’t be easy, but it definitely isn’t impossible.

4. On the other side of the ball, Landry Jones has played a lot of football. Oklahoma is scoring a ton of points, doing it with an efficient running game and a strong passing game. Obviously, K-State had some success against the Sooners’ offense, but where do you see Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell attacking Notre Dame’s defense? Will they utilize the hurry-up?

Kansas State ’s defense was successful against OU because it forced Landry Jones into mistakes, which he’s shown a propensity to make when he’s put under that kind of pressure. He’s looked much, much better and more poised the last three weeks in the pocket, even under pressure, but Notre Dame is an entirely different animal with that big-time defensive front.

I don’t think the Irish have seen anything quite like OU’s no-huddle, pass-heavy offense this season, though, so I think Sooner coaches will try to take advantage of that and keep Notre Dame on its heels. If OU can shock-and-awe Notre Dame early with some big plays — which they’ve been capable of in both the pass and run games — I would think that gives the Sooners a big edge for the rest of the game, especially with the home crowd. Not saying that will be easy at all, because I know how good the Irish are defensively, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see OU dial up some home-run plays early.

5. I was surprised when I saw the gambling line open up with the Sooners a commanding 9.5 point favorite. The Irish certainly haven’t been winning with style points, but does this seem right to you? What’s the key to an underdog Irish team beating Oklahoma ? How do the Sooners avoid the upset?

I honestly wasn’t very surprised by the line. Notre Dame is a top-5 team and has absolutely earned that ranking by winning all its games through a pretty tough schedule, and an Irish win definitely isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

But right now, Oklahoma is playing at such a high level on offense, defense and in special teams — last week vs. Kansas, OU returned both a kick and a punt for touchdowns in one game for the first time ever — that I just don’t see the Sooners losing Saturday.

I think the most likely scenario resulting in a Notre Dame win is if it follows Kansas State ’s model of putting major pressure on Landry Jones, making him uncomfortable in the pocket and forcing some turnovers. That could possibly keep the game low-scoring enough for Notre Dame to win it.

On offense, the Irish need to run the ball effectively, convert lots of third downs and control the clock. Brian Kelly said during his news conference Tuesday that Oklahoma is extremely tough to beat when it is scores lots of points and makes big plays. As good as they’ve been defensively, I’m just not convinced the Irish have enough experience against this offensive attack to limit it the way Notre Dame would need to in order to leave Norman with national-title hopes still intact.

***

For more from Jason, check out all his excellent work in sports section of the Oklahoman, the Sooners Sports Blog, or his Twitter feed @JasonKersey.

 

  1. domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    We might not have seen an offense like OU’s yet but they haven’t seen a defense like ours either.

    Time and time again you see these fast break offenses get smacked when going against elite defenses.

    Simple game plan – on offense, two BLOCKING TE’s, maybe one as a FB, and smash them all day long – can’t score without the ball – sprinkle in zone read and zone read play action

    defense – pass happy? drop 8 while disguising pre-snap coverages, and let front 4 go to work

    prediction, ND 30 OU 24 with one ND pick six by none other than #5 jumping a quick slant

    • ndgoldandblue - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      Man, would that be awesome, especially Manti getting a pick six. Just to see our offense put up 23 against a good defense would be a nice sight. I don’t know…call me an optimist, but I think they can do it.

    • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Ich bin ein a defensive guru, apparently

      “Drop 8 while disguising pre snap coverages”
      Jesus … Kraut, that’s brilliant. No one’s ever done that.
      Have you told Kelly?

      • ndgoldandblue - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Ich hoffe dass die Irish gewinnen werden, aber ich bin nicht sicher daruber. Ich weiss dass Oklahoma eine gute Mannschaft hat, und es wird sehr schwer sein zu gewinnen. Aber…Ich glaube dass wir siegreich sein koennen wenn wir intelligent spielen.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        this german thing is brilliant!!!

        jealousy can really be one of the ugliest personality traits out there

        you commented yesterday “In my opinion the most obnoxious ones are the adults who’ve struck out in life and cling to the one thing they have left: Being a fan of a team”

        so where does that put someone who:
        1. Compulsively posts about TR
        2. Posts on average 12 times a day, of which 6 are repeats
        3. reads 82 different blogs/websites
        4. Dissects every word KA pens
        5. calls people out from grammar mistakes or factually inaccuracies (especially posting links to wikipedia to refute some 80 year olds first comment on this message board)

        Glad to see the ND admittance bar was just a tad too high…

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        Kraut,
        Any additional insight on your 12 man scheme?

        Dumbbell

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Kraut,
        Your preoccupation with my posts is a little nauseating for all of us, as is your screen name
        If you just go away I promise not to mention your name ever again

      • madmick69 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Don’t think we can do that “drop 8 while disguising pre-snap coverages, and let front 4 go to work” we’ll be giving a free 5 yards to OU everytime since that’s 12 defenders on the field.

        Just saying

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        Hey, give Kraut a break.
        He’s so wrapped up in what I post, when I post, etc that he forgets some things
        And apparently he’s into animal sex, so …

        Just sayin’ …

      • domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        hook, line and sinker

        lets think about this for a moment…

        Your observation: the german goat is a complete idiot, 12 men, really 12 men!! what a dumbell!!

        my intent: lets post something that the nudedouche will jump out of his seat over and ridicule incessantly until the stench of his dog crapping in the trailer gets too bad he actually has to leave the folding computer chair for 5 minutes to let it out

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        wow, you’re really off the rails now Kraut
        Perhaps you should go back to the Turner Diaries.
        I’m told it gets better when you read it for the 15th time. You’re at 14 now, right?

      • domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I’m off the rails???

        who is the one that posted 7 times and counting re: the 12 man bait dangling right in front of ya??!!! Did anyone really think you could pass up chomping on anything involving 12 men?

        dont worry, the sore from that hook point will blend right in with the rest of ‘em

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Kraut
        No one here believes you put that 12 man thing out for me as bait
        No one. You made a mistake bud; own it
        I’m not even the one who busted you on it

        And why are you so fixated on what/when/how often I post?
        Let it go.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        no offense to dudeacow but he wasn’t the “keeper” i was waiting for to bite

        but to his credit, he did put the scent in the water, then WHAM, bagged me that trophy Apache Trout!!

        its ok nude, being goated is nothing to be ashamed of, wasnt the first time and wont be the last

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        KrautGoat

        No one believes you were baiting me or anyone else.
        You fu**ed up, “buddy”

        Admit it

    • dudeacow - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Drop 8, then let the front 4 go to work. Maybe these officials are blind and won’t notice the extra man on the field…

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        dudeacow
        LOFFFLLL
        That’s the brilliance of the Kraut.

        Gotta’ give him credit though; if they got away with it that would basically revolutionize the game
        He’s a visionary

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Why not drop 9 or 10 and still stick with the front 7 too?
        Now THAT is a decided schematic advantage

      • dudeacow - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Have the leprechaun come off the edge and harass Jones-meaning have him search Jones for gold and then tackle him when he doesn’t find any. I should be the coach!

      • fentocamarillo - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Nude,

        My God man, give us all a break. You can’t let anything go, ever. The goat blower plays you like a fiddle (enjoyably so, I might add) each and every time. Set the hook and next thing, your in the boat.

        Months ago, Keith called for a general “clean-up” of all the garbage posted on the site. He was spot on…specifically you. You have failed to comply. You are obsessed, repetitive, crass, vulgar, and completely lacking in anything that is remotely clever, insightful or inspirational.

        In short, I have come to the conclusion that you, Mr. Nudeman (god, that is really a horrible blog name…what are you, 12???) completed 2 years at Wayne State in the early 70’s and are only 18 hours shy of your Associates degree. Bet you think at least twice a decade about getting those credits transferred to (fill in the local community college), just never quite got around to it. So take your collection of 1950’s ND football cards…yes, you may keep the one signed by Tom Shane as well, and simply disappear, oh so quietly into your own, dark night.

        Yours in Notre Dame.

        Fento ’73

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        Fento
        First, I’m vulgar”? Can you give me an example?

        And what is your opinion of the vulgarity of a guy who has an animal sex act in his screen name? That’s OK?

        I don’t care what you or Goat (are you the same person, like UAW?) think
        I post here for my own enjoyment, not for your approval
        Whether you like me or not is 195th on my list of 10 things I’m concerned with today.

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        I see Kraut has carefully gone through here and given me a thumbs down on every post, just to make sure I get at least one

        Dude … you’re exhibiting stalker tendencies.
        Forget the meds today?

    • Keith Arnold - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Goat — Play nice. Even if it is with Nudeman.

      I know it’s a big game, but let’s keep the personal insults and arrows to a minimum.

      Thanks,
      MGMT

  2. 4horsemenrideagain - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    The “quick strike” capability is always tough to scheme against, but keeping OU’s offense off the field is half the battle. Long, sustained drives and making OU’s secondary carry the load making more tackles than they’d like. Rotating our three backs, allowing them to stay fresh, and wearing down not just OU’s front seven, but their DB(s) as well, this is how it’s going to go. Keep the score down, shorten the game and be content to win an ugly game, though I’m not convinced it has to be ugly in order for ND to win. If ND rushes for 250-300 yards (not entirely farfetched), this might not be a low-scoring slugfest, depending on how ND is able to pass the ball and hold onto good field possession.

    ND can keep the special teams from giving OU an edge. It doesn’t have to win on special teams, just get a draw here. A turnover or two makes OU’s remaining possessions all that more important. Long ND possessions magnify the importance of each OU drive and add even more pressure on OU to take chances on offense and get those chunk plays it needs. Needing big chunks of yardage eliminates part of OU’s playbook.

    When the dust settles, its the oddsmakers in Vegas who end up looking foolish.

  3. twebb2 - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I’ve been following the Irish since the mid-80s, and I must say, I’m scared to death about this game. I live in the south, and work with a lot of OU grads, and they’ve been telling me straight up that OU is going to shut out the Irish. And honestly, I’ve got nothing to say in return… even more, I believe them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if OU wins 21-0 or 24-0 or 28-0. OU may have started slow, but they’re a buzzsaw right now.

    I’ve been hanging on the edge of my seat during every game except Navy & Miami. I agree with what Keith has said; even if my Irish are 8-1 after this weekend, how many people would have thought it? Yet their continuing success this season has continually raised the stakes. So I just don’t know what to think, except impending doom. Maybe I’m just worn out after two decades of mostly futility. And I say that as a BK fan and a fan of EG!

    On the other hand, I’ve been a fan long enough, through hard times, that I honestly believe ND can win any game. They can win the game this weekend. But OU is at “another level” or more up from anyone we’ve played. I still remember rooting on the Irish as they had that huge comeback to beat OU in 1999.

    Regardless, I just can’t shake the mindset of impending gloom. Am I the only one? I’ve been surprised how positive most of the comment have been (which for the good, to be sure!). Am I alone on this?

    • jimbasil - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Player conditioning will have a lot to do with this game again for the Irish (they will need to play a full sixty and more at a high physical level). The one positive for the Irish is, they’ve been in close hard fought games all season and OU has not. The one game OU had that was a hard fought game, they lost.

      I think ND has an important edge in the conditioning dept.

      That said, Special Teams may end up being the dividing line when it comes to winning and losing. ND has shown no real solid ST’s play – either blocking punts or blocking for returns et al. The Irish can’t make up their minds on which to do so they do neither. The Irish punting game is mediocre and can’t be counted on. Which Brindza will show up – the one who can kick it out of the endzone or the one who barely gets it to the 10/15?

      But with all this, I think the OU fans haven’t realized, this years ND is a big fast strong team and normally plays good football. (only the QB play is in question) Those fans point out how fast and big OU is but this Irish team is a little bigger and stronger than the teams they’ve played this year. There is a reason most talk about ND’s D as an SEC type D.

    • akmatt - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      I know exactly what you mean. I came out of the womb in gold and blue and I love Notre Dame football to a fault. I understand being surrounded by haters, I’ve had more than my fair share of that. It can get so bad that your own self worth starts to get tied up in Notre Dame’s success or failures. I was at the stadium in 1993 when things came apart against BC. Ever since then, we’ve been brought violently crashing back to earth time and time again. We’ve been conditioned to show nothing more than guarded optimism. I’m so nervous about this game, I can’t sleep at night. How absurd is that? I’m a grown man with a job and a family and all I can think about right now is, “I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a 2005 USC or 2011 Michigan type of loss, that might send me over the edge.”
      God, I hope they win though. It’s certainly not out of the question. They don’t play these games on paper, after all. Stout defense, no turnovers, a few lucky breaks… I hope you get to rub it in your co-worker’s faces. Forget them, forget all the haters. Go Irish!

  4. nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Have seen a lot of stats and different perspectives for this game.
    Here’s the one that sticks with me:
    ND’s opponents’ offensive ranking

    Miami 51
    Michigan 61
    Stanford 79
    Purdue 80
    BYU 82
    MSU 87
    Navy 98

    And Oklahoma you ask? #17

    ND hasn’t faced a top notch offense yet. Particularly a passing offense. OU is rated 26 in passing offense (289 YPG) and 34 rushing (200 YPG).

    This doesn’t mean ND is going to get creamed. And it doesn’t mean they can’t stop OU. It just means that this is BY FAR the best offense they’ve faced.

    If you want to feel a little better, consider this: ND is the best rated defense OU has faced. ND is rated 6; Kansas State is rated 23. OU scored 19 points against KSU.

    • bernhtp - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      I bet all their rankings would be significantly higher without the crushing their offensive stats took at the hands of ND. Similarly, maybe OU will be in the high 20s after Saturday.

    • ndirish10 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Damn it nude, the first part of your post almost had me peeing in my pant, sensed an anxiety attack coming, but the last 2 paragraphs calmed me down. GO IRISH!!! BEAT THOSE sooners!!! ONWARD TO VICTORY!!!

    • ndfaithful - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Throw out their games with US and they’re stats are a lot better! See my post later down the comments.

    • ndfaithful - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      On a statistical footnote, Miami is averaging over 288 passing yards per game. And that’s AFTER we held them to 201.

      Where are you pulling the defensive ranking of 6th for ND anyway? We’re 2nd in scoring defense when I checked. We’re also holding our opponents to 36% of their scoring average. I don’t think they’re ready for us in Norman.

      I also looked up the roster and the defensive line better be quick and good athletes, because the don’t size up well against our boys. I think if we keep it close, they will lay down in the 4th when we’ve been beating on them all day.

  5. andy44teg - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I find it kind of funny that the two things he says ND needs to do to possibly pull off the upset are things that we’ve done all year!

  6. ndfanwabashman - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Sounds like the way to beat them is to pressure the QB and win the turnover battle. Schucks, I wish ND was good at that.

  7. alsatiannd - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Our road success the last ten years against ranked opponents is pretty thin.

    From 2011-2002 ND played away at ranked opponents 13 times and our record is 5-8. In only 3 of those wins were we the worse ranked team. (2005 when #20 ND beat #3 Michigan, 2004 when unranked ND beat #9 Tennessee, and 2003 when unranked ND beat #15 Pitt.

    • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Agree, but I think a new era has dawned. I’m not saying 2002-2011 didn’t happen, but Davie, Ty and Weis are – thankfully – not walking through that door anytime soon.

      Those days are now no more relevant than the Bud Wilkinson era.

  8. dapperdanirish - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I take solace in knowing that each and every game is different and unique. No matter what the stats are and line is, certain circumstances unique to each game will help dictate the outcome. Both teams have great aspects which should lead to a great game. I don’t see a shutout by either team. Also, OU may advance in big chunks, but our redzone D has been great. Just gotta hope the run game works and pressure stays off EG.

    Nude, those are pretty telling stats regarding the offenses we’ve faced. Interesting to know.

    I like that we are underdogs. Should fire the boys up pretty well.

    If we hold OU to 21 or under, I like our chances.

  9. connectionsnlp - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Hope and pray that no one is offended for an OU fan to comment…I’ve been reading the comments for this game all week…I’m just as worried about this game as some of you are…I believe that most OU fans deeply respect ND for its rich tradition and heritage…it is precisely this that is most intimidating to us…just as we are intimidating with our rich tradition and heritage…yes, true enough, OU is playing at its highest level of the year at the present time, however, I as a lifelong OU fan continuously wonder which OU team is going to be on the field this Saturday, just as some of you may about your own team…all I hope for is that each team plays at its highest level…I really want someone from a different conference other than SEC to have bragging rights about a good team, whether it be OU or ND…good luck to all of you this weekend and may the best team win and go and kick the SECs butt later in the year…an avid OU patriot

    • alsatiannd - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Now that’s how to do a guest post.

    • mtb1996 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      connectionsnlp,

      You should read some of the trolls that frequent this site. With classy OU fans like yourself, I would trade our yearly matchup with the likes of Michigan or Boston College for one with OU any time. That would be a rivalry that I would love to see every year. Anyway, thanks for your genuine post. Love the mutual respect. Looking forward to a great game!

      • dickasman - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:02 AM

        I just vomited. Get a room ladies!

  10. seadomer - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    5 on Offense must play well (not great) just well with no momentum killing mistakes
    5 on Defence must play well, hopefully with a couple of highlight-worthy plays
    5 sacks will do the trick
    5 sapporos should be enough for a buzz
    5 as in 79-5 would be the incredible home streak at Norman on Saturday

    When is it? No.8 OK vs No.5 ND, well its at 8 et / 5 pt

  11. oldestguard - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    In the Big Picture, this is exactly the kind of game this team needs, if they are truly going to get this program back to where it once belonged.

    This is the kind of game that gets the juices flowing for the fans too.

    That’s not nerves, that’s raw adrenaline you’re feeling.

    I love it …and love the fact we have this opportunty !!

    Expect greatness lads !

  12. dudeacow - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    111-16 away this year… we gotta shot at knocking off OK!

  13. connectionsnlp - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    alsatiannd…thanks for the kindness shown…again, good luck…gary

  14. ctfivula - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Love the underdog role this week. I believe it is the first time this year. I have to believe that the boys are hearing everyone saying that they don’t even belong on the field with Oklahoma. I think that can only help to motivate the team along with last weeks sub par performance on the field is a huge boost for this team. I say the key to an Irish win is obvious. You have to disrupt the QB. Landry Jones is just Like Matt Barkley. Give him a clean pocket with time to throw and he will tear you up all night long. Get in his face and make him move around and he starts to unravel. Also I see a lot of others already getting on my next point. Special teams! This would be a perfect time to see GAIII make one cut and take off down the sideline on a kickoff return, maybe even finally see Neal make a move or two and get a big punt return. It could also come in the form of defensive special teams. A big hit and a turnover after a three and out to get the ball back would be huge in taking the crowd out of the game. Not to mention a big momentum swing. So there you have it. My keys to a victory over the Sooners are get in Jones face make him uncomfortable and get some type of big play from the special teams. After that just play the game and everything will fall into place.Go Irish!

    • ndfaithful - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      I love the underdog role too. But I’m sure MSU was ranked ahead of us and favored too. Odds were on MSU -5.5.

      • papadec - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM

        ndfaithful – for what it’s worth – on 6/15 The Golden Nugget (GN) had point spreads for all the ND games (EXCEPT Purdue). I wrote them down, and have been checking the day of game point spreads @ espn. The GN had ND as a 3 point underdog to msu, and the espn spread went to a 6 point game day underdog position. For the OKLA game – GN had ND as an 11 point underdog, espn has them as a 10 point underdog (just checked). I’d take that 10 – 11 point spread. I love the double digit underdog position for this game. Also, GN had ND as a 13 point underdog to usc.

  15. irishdodger - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Connectionsnlp:

    Keep in mind that our programs are on two different paths….yet both seem positive. Stoops has been in Norman since 1999 & erased the forgettable decade of the 90s when coaches like Gary Gibbs, Howard Schnellenberger & John Blake reduced the program to irrelevancy. ND fans have done the same thru the 2000 decade w/ failed hires in Davie, O’Leary, Willingham & Weis. Kelly is only in year 3 and has his team exceeding expectations w/ young stars (albeit inexperienced) and a freshman QB. Stoops should have OU undefeated, but you’re still loaded w/ experienced talent incl a 5th yr SR QB. OU should win. We’re playing w/ house money…I’m interested to see if we keep it close or pull off the upset. Good luck.

  16. yaketyyacc - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    wooo wooo 17th in defense 26 in 36th in…. best team ND has faced.. shiver shiver.. Well, we saw the statistics in 57: MIghty Oklahoma. No losses for 47games. no shoutouts for 11 years, yes that is 11 years folks, and our answer well, at least the odds are even. This Oklahoma team is not even undefeated this year.
    And the odds are in ur favor. WE ARE UNDEFEATED

    • seadomer - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      we are uNDefeated

  17. ndfaithful - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I can’t wait for this game! I’m nervous and excited. Anxious! I believe Oklahoma is a good team and if the Irish win, they will get a LOT of recognition nationally. If they look good doing it, they could jump in the BCS polls and draw closer to the NC game.

    But first – All this talk about how good our opponent is… I did some research about how our Irish have done this year. Some interesting stats:

    Thru 7 games this year, our Irish have held their opponents to just 36% of their normal scoring averages. That’s an amazing stat! In fact, only two teams (BYU and Purdue) have reached over 50% of their scoring average (58% and 54% respectively). If that average holds up, Oklahoma can expect to score 16-17 points on Saturday. That’s exactly where I project them.

    On the offensive side of the ball, the Irish have scored more than their opponents typically give up in all but two games (Purdue and Michigan). As a whole, for the season, we’re scoring 22% more than our opponents typically allow. We hear how our Irish offense is struggling, but we’re 22% better than our opponents average competition. Not bad! If that trend holds up, ND can expect to score 18-19 points on Saturday. I like our chances!

    I really think our defense will make Oklahoma look average. Throw in a few turnovers like K-State got, and it’s another ugly, hard fought WIN. I expect nothing less, nothing more.

    GO IRISH!

    • domer77blowsgoats - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      now this is a great post!!

      anyone can take statistics and regurgitate, but reading the fine print and analyzing takes a little more

      great insight faithful and refreshing to see some true analysis and not copy/paste off some other website as support for pushing a supposed informed agenda/opinion

      keep up the good work!!

      • nudeman - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        That’s some great advice from a very very shi**y poster
        So TIFWIW
        e.g. “not much”

  18. connectionsnlp - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    irishdodger…
    Speaking of playing with house money, feel as if we are too…all of the receivers are new with the exception of Kenny Stills, he’s the only proven talent…it took us the first three games to get anywhere near comfortable with the quarterback and the receivers…same thing has happened on defense with re-addition of coach Stoops on defensive side…it took the defense about the same number of games to get used to his change of schemes…as for OU winning, I’m not as certain as you are…it depends, as I noted, which team shows up, the OU of the first three games or the OU of the last three…only time will tell…as per your comment about “interested to see”, all I can say is that most of the Sooner Nation is experiencing your sentiments as well…

  19. connectionsnlp - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    mtb1996…

    You’re quite welcome…we get a lot of trolls on OUs site as well…know where you’re coming from…as far as a trade of rivalry, hopefully something like that may happen…it would be appreciated with me as well…we lost the OU/Nebraska rivalry a couple of years back and we each had tremendous respect for one another…was able to see the last Big 12 championship game at Dallas Stadium between NU and OU and the fans truly had respect for one another and for the teams…it has been truly missed by many at OU

  20. connectionsnlp - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    mtb1996…an afterthought, when Big 12 was breaking up, many were in hopes that ND would join the Big 12…however, it was not to be…still one could hope…

  21. sullyp18 - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Here is the link to the BK and Colin Cowherd interview today, BK doesnt sound too confident.

    http://cdn16.castfire.com/audio/303/2117/7829/1220996/herdaudio_2012-10-24-113636-3953-0-0-0.32.mp3?cdn_id=33&uuid=1361e8529677e7aa1b1d2f6ebedf2fcf&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fespn.go.com%2Fespnradio%2Fplay%3Fid%3D8545720&s=5L8r1

  22. dbldmr - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Some of the back and forth on this site really detracts from the overall tone. C’mon boys, neutral corners but don’t come out swinging.

  23. e4irish4 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    After reading about how well OU has been playing leading up to this game I started thinking about the teams ND has played this year. My thought being that most of the teams coming into their game with the Irish fared pretty well in their preceding contests. I decided to check on things and noticed that each team has won their game prior and scored at least 40 points in doing so with the only exception being BYU and I’m not counting Navy (obvious reasons). Not too sure what to make of this other than it seems like every team ND has played this year is coming into the game playing their best or darn near close to it on offense (iffy but I’m gonna count BYU here because they had a chance to knock off Ore St until some bad 4th quarter turnovers proved detrimental) before meeting the Irish D. Here’s to hoping the trend continues to play out this way on Saturday night. Go Irish!

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