Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Clay (left) must get the run game going early.
1. Capitalize on Red-Zone Opportunities
In last year’s meeting, Oklahoma was just 1-of-5 inside the red-zone. Furthermore, the team was just 1-of-3 in goal-to-go situations.
That has to change this time around.
Through three games, the Sooners are faring a lot better in the category. The team ranks No. 37 in the nation, going 15-of-17 (88.2 percent) inside the red-zone—nine touchdowns and six field goals.
With quarterback Blake Bell at the helm, this is an aspect Oklahoma should be better at. The junior entered 2013 with 24 rushing touchdowns inside the red-zone. In fact, Bell was responsible for the team’s lone touchdown in the 30-13 loss to Notre Dame last season.
Look for the Sooners to fare much better on Saturday.
2. Establish the Run
Against the Irish last year, Oklahoma ran the ball just 24 times while passing it 52 times. The team totaled just 15 yards on the ground.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
This year, the Sooners boast the nations No. 16 rushing attack, averaging 271.7 yards per game. Furthermore, the team averages 50.3 rush attempts compared to just 30.3 pass attempts per game.
With Brennan Clay (262 YDS, 2 TD) and Damien Williams (161 YDS) in the backfield, expect the Irish to get a healthy dose of the Oklahoma run game this weekend.
3. Overcome History
The Sooners are just 1-9 against Notre Dame all-time. In fact, the team has now lost seven straight in the series.
If Oklahoma has any hope of contending for the BCS title, they need to put an end to the streak.
For the last time the team beat the Irish, you’d have to go all the way back to 1956 when Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners won 40-0. That team would go on to win a college football record of 47 games in a row.
Ironically enough, that streak came to an end the very next year against, you guessed it, Notre Dame.