OPINION: Sooners vs Fighting Irish, Big Al on why Oklahoma will beat Notre Dame in South Bend

Sooners 1-9 all-time against Irish

Enough already!

Yes, OU is 1-9 against Notre Dame.

Yes, Bob Stoops is 0-2 against the Golden Domers.

Yes, OU's 47-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Irish.

Heck, that was 1957 for crying out loud! Like I said, enough already!

I remember saying the same thing last year before the game in Norman. What happened? 30-13 visitors.

This time it's going to go Oklahoma's way.

Here's why, and it has nothing to do with revenge or which team hung the "Play Like A Champion" sign in the locker room first. None of that. Rudy is not on the Notre Dame roster, and neither is quarterback Everett Golson. Golson threw for 177 yards and ran for 64 to keep the OU defense at bay. He was the difference a year ago.

OU has a new quarterback at the helm, but not a new QB. Blake Bell should have been the starter to begin with, but he finally got his chance two weeks ago in dismantling Tulsa.

He played against Notre Dame last year in the Belldozer package, so he is not completely foreign to playing in big games. He does not appear to get rattled easily, which was a knock against Landry Jones in his career with the Sooners. I look for Bell to have a steady game.

The reason for the steady game is this: OU does have offensive weapons in all phases. Not spectacular, but good. Good running backs, all different shapes, sizes and speeds. Finley here, Clay there, Millard on occasion, and the freshman Ford for the tough yard or two.

I think we are still waiting for the receiver corp to get completely untracked, but there were signs of that happening against Tulsa. Bell is a better thrower than he has been given credit for. Last year he wasn't asked or needed to throw out of the Belldozer package.

Offensive line may get a little overmatched with the beef up front for Notre Dame. There is no doubt, they are good. So this is where Josh Heupel comes in.

The offensive coordinator needs to call as close to a perfect game as possible. He does not need to get too pass happy early. Keep that Notre Dame defense off balance. It sounds like a cliche, but in this game it is imperative.

How does OU stop Notre Dame?

Force Tommy Rees to throw it. Last week against Michigan State it seemed as if every pass was a Hail Mary! OU's defensive backs need to be patient, not get caught on play action and stay away from pass interference on those jump balls by Rees. Rees can be rattled. A blitz or two wouldn't hurt.

Sooners win 27-24. Finally!

Sidenote - The Big 12 is hoping Oklahoma can beat Notre Dame to save face in the eyes of the national press. The only decent profile win for the conference is OSU over Mississippi State in week one, and that may have already been forgotten.

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For more on the series between the Sooners and the Irish go to  www.kjrh.com/ounotredame . There you will find videos from past games, photos, news and more about the 2013 matchup.

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