Notre Dame Football: Why Fighting Irish's Win Streak Will End Against Oklahoma
At No. 2 in the nation, Notre Dame's defense is dynamic, but it hasn't faced an offense as explosive as Oklahoma's yet.
In Week 9, the Fighting Irish are due for a rude awakening.
Notre Dame played a tough schedule to open the season. At the time, Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford were all ranked in the Top 25. Now, the Wolverines exist on the fringe, and the Cardinal are one notch above that.
Either way, none of those offenses are elite. The Sooners' production may be embellished by the Big 12's mediocre defenses, but Landry Jones still leads a standard of attack that the Irish have not seen this season.
This isn't Big Ten-caliber football anymore. Oklahoma runs a non-stop hurry-up attack that thrives by spreading the field as thin as possible. Jones has a plethora of option to target—including Trey Metoyer, Sterling Shepard, Kenny Stills and Justin Brown—and a dynamic running back in Damien Williams to hand the ball off to.
Oklahoma isn't perfect, but Notre Dame better come prepared. This isn't Brigham Young, Stanford or Miami (FL), and it's the Irish's first trip away from home in four weeks. Walking into Oklahoma Memorial Stadium won't be easy.
Defensively, Notre Dame will still fight hard. However, sooner or later, points must be scored. The 77th-ranked scoring offense in the nation isn't fit to do that, at least not by what it has shown so far this season. The Sooners allow just over 15 points per game, including 21 to Texas, 21 to Texas Tech and 24 to Kansas State.
Those aren't flawless numbers, but all three of those offenses are far more advanced than Notre Dame's at this point in the season.
The Irish are going to have to steal momentum early on in this one. Allowing Jones to drive the ball a few times in a row will enliven the Sooners fanbase, giving the team even more momentum.
Notre Dame's offense isn't ready to go. Cierre Woods and Theo Riddick were dynamic last week, but the duo of Everett Golson and Tommy Rees behind center are not prepared to grab the upper hand in a shootout scenario.
Jones and company, on the other hand, are prepared.
Most great runs come to a close eventually. This isn't to say that the Irish fall off the face of the planet, but the team's seven-game win streak will come to a close in Norman, Okla. this week. A dynamic defense has got them this far, but offensive adjustments are necessary if they want their success to continue.
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