FORT WAYNE – Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson will have to clear one more hurdle today before coach Brian Kelly decides whether he will start Saturday night at Oklahoma.
During his Sunday teleconference, Kelly said Golson will be run through a workout that will test the sophomores physical limits and cardiovascular system.
Golson didnt play in Saturdays 17-14 home win over BYU (4-4) after being unable to practice until Wednesday because of a concussion he suffered in the Irishs 20-13 overtime win over No. 19 Stanford (5-2) on Oct. 13. Tommy Rees started his second game this season for Notre Dame in the win over BYU.
We really havent run (Golson) physically like he would in a game situation after a big run and maybe he comes back and runs an option play, Kelly said.
I just want to make sure weve covered everything. In talking to our doctors, were going to put him through a good physical exertion (today), and we expect that to go well. If it goes well, I think its just full steam ahead to Oklahoma.
Notre Dame (7-0) will enter this weekends showdown against No. 8 Oklahoma (5-1) at No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches poll for consecutive weeks for the first time since Sept 3 and 10, 2006.
The Irish also remain at No. 5 in the BCS standings, which were released Sunday night. The Sooners are No. 8.
Though Saturdays game could heavily factor into where the Irish finish in the BCS standings, Kelly said he isnt concerned about where his team is in the standings right now.
I think they know they havent arrived, and even being fifth in the country and 7-0, and you can say that, that they havent arrived, that they havent reached the level that they can, I think is a very good place to be, Kelly said.
What Kelly is concerned about is an Oklahoma team that is clicking in every phase of the game. The Sooners first-team defense hasnt given up a touchdown in two games; the starting offense has scored on 15 of its last 20 drives with 12 touchdowns; and in Saturdays 52-7 blowout against Kansas, the special teams units had touchdowns on both a kickoff and punt return for the first time in the programs history.
The Sooners have the nations 17th-best offense, averaging 488.2 yards, and they are fifth in scoring, averaging 44.7 points, with quarterback Laundry Jones leading the way with 1,643 passing yards and 12 touchdowns.
The offense is certainly about Landry Jones, but more importantly its the balance that they have, Kelly said.
Notes: Receiver John Goodman, a Bishop Dwenger grad, didnt play for a second straight game Saturday because of a back injury and the fact that Kelly wanted to use the bigger Danny Smith in the blocking scheme. Goodman will be available this weekend. Safety Nicky Baratti (shoulder) and cornerback Bennett Jackson (neck) have also been cleared to play. Kicker Nick Tausch (groin) continues to make progress to return, Kelly said.