Will Notre Dame Be Able to Contend with the High-Powered Oklahoma Offense?

Eric EdelmanCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2012

Will the Sooners end Notre Dame's perfect season?
Will the Sooners end Notre Dame's perfect season?Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Sure to be one of the best games of the college football season, the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face off against the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners this Saturday inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

The last time these two teams faced each other was back in 1999, with the Irish coming out on top by four points, 34-30, as the Irish edged their way to a home victory.

Interestingly enough, the last time the Irish won this matchup they were also underdogs, but will surely face a tougher challenge this time around when they meet the Sooners as 10.5-point road dogs. 

This matchup will be a slugfest, as both teams like to play hard-nosed, physical football.

The Irish might have their hands full with an Oklahoma offense that will attempt to light them up at home.

Ranked 100th in the nation in overall passing (as compared to the Sooners 25th ranking), the Irish may not be able to compete with Oklahoma's aerial assault.

Coming off a blowout win against Kansas, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones threw for almost 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.

If Landry has similar success against Notre Dame, it's going to be a long night for the Irish faithful.

Whether Landry has success or not will largely depend on the protection from OU's offensive line.

The No. 2 ranked Irish defense will not go down without a fight—especially with a front seven that has looked dominant all season.

To pull an upset, it's going to take tremendous resolve from the Irish, something they have demonstrated repeatedly.

The Irish have shown resilience following recent comeback wins after trailing at halftime, outscoring their opponents in the second half by a total of 27-3 in their last two games.

The Irish hope to have starting quarterback Everett Golson back under center, assuming he undergoes a successful post-concussion test (via chicagotribune.com).

Whether or not Golson will perform well in Memorial Stadium remains to be seen, but Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has tremendous confidence in Golson's ability to adjust under pressure.

"It's bits and pieces throughout the year, at Michigan State in a very hostile environment, and then in big-game situations where we're playing on the road in Chicago. It's just a cumulative effect. In other words, all the pieces that come together for him to make him a better quarterback than he was earlier in the year is his experience, and we think he'll build on that and should not have any problem playing in a big environment at Oklahoma because he's already done it." (via sbnation.com)

Although they face a formidable Oklahoma offense, anything is possible for the Irish, as their title hopes hinge on what is sure to be a classic game.