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Nix wants the ball

Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III just wants his little brother to be correct.

The junior said one of his younger brothers referred to him as the Irish's quarterback in a report he did for school.

So when Nix sees Oklahoma's 6-foot-6, 254-pound Blake Bell come in at quarterback in short-yard situations, the 6-3, 326-pound Nix thinks he can fill the same role for the No. 5 Irish (7-0), who travel to play the No. 8 Sooners (5-1) on Saturday.

"One of these days (coach Brian Kelly) might come around," Nix said with a smile. "He'll give me the ball, and we will just get in there on fourth-and-1 or whatever. When we do it then, he'll just keep giving it to me. I probably get to throw it around a little bit.

"If they put me at quarterback, he'll be right. His teacher can't say like, 'No, he's not.' I want to make my brother right. He said it wrong, but if I'm at quarterback, his presentation should get an A."

While Nix joked about playing quarterback, the Irish sophomore knows it is no laughing matter when Sooners starting quarterback Landry Jones is replaced by Bell in certain situations.

Bell has carried the ball 31 times this season with no run going longer than 10 yards, but eight of those runs have been for touchdowns. It is a continuation of how the Sooners used him last season, when the "Belldozer" package was born and the sophomore ran for a school freshman record 13 touchdowns.

"He's a huge guy," Nix said of Bell. "You just got to do your best to tackle him. He doesn't try to go out of bounds. He tries to run through people. We got to do our best to wrap him up and take him to the ground."

It may be a challenge, but Nix said he would like to test himself along against Bell during Saturday's top-10 showdown.

"I would love a one-on-one matchup with him. I think it would be fun," Nix said. "When we see him come in, he's in there to like pound it in to get a touchdown or a first down, that's what I expect, and I'm just going to try my best to get to him."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.