After three outstanding performances by Oklahoma, this test against the Fighting Irish will be the best and last chance for the Sooners to make an impact on the national stage. A big win Saturday will put OU on the map for teams vying for a BCS title shot should there be at most one undefeated team left standing at the end of the season (and, of course, the Sooners win out).
One of those teams that must lose is Kansas State. Thanks to the Sooners' charitable donations to the Wildcats back in September, the Sooners must hope that the Wildcats lose twice or Texas Tech wins the rest of its games, thus forcing a three-way tiebreaker. The latter scenario bodes well for the Sooners in the "he who loses last, loses worst" BCS formula. Neither scenario seems very likely.
So let's put the hypotheticals away for now and focus on the game at hand. Much has been made of the Irish's rushing defense that has yet to allow a touchdown and is ranked 15th in the nation (106.7 ypg). No team has rushed for 150 yards against the Irish, including the 13th (Navy) and 18th (Michigan) ranked rushing teams in the nation.
The Sooners have scored 20 rushing touchdowns and average 200.5 yards per game on the ground (33rd in the nation). To go along with that, the Sooners will bring in the best passing offense that the Irish have faced this season in Landry Jones and his bevy of talented receivers. The Sooners have scored 44.7 points per game (5th nationally), and the Irish allow 9.4 points per game (2nd nationally).
Unstoppable force versus immovable object? I say, not so much.
The Irish are tough, no doubt, but they haven't seen as potent an offense as the one they'll see Saturday in Norman. If Josh Heupel continues to spread the ball around, the Irish will not be able to contain the Sooners.
This is also the best defense the Irish will face. Notre Dame is ranked No. 100 in passing offense. They'll have to run – often. It won't be enough. Sooners keep the machine humming, and OU takes down the undefeated Irish, 33-15.
We can always see a return of the Sooners from the first three games. Notre Dame has a pass rushing that could bring some heat on Landry jones. Irish linebacker Manti Te'o is no joke. Notre Dame could keep the Sooner defense guessing, switching between quarterbacks Everett Golson and Tommy Rees.
All of that must happen for Notre Dame to win. I just can't see it happening. It's a grind-it-out game, but OU shows its toughness and the Sooners prevail, 24-21.