Notre Dame made itself a contender to reach the BCS championship game last season with a road win over Oklahoma.
The No. 22 Irish (3-1) will try to stay in the hunt for a BCS bowl game, with an outside shot at a return to the title game, with another win over the No. 14 Sooners (3-0) today.
Here are some things to watch for in the game at Notre Dame Stadium:
- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy completed only three of a career-high 17 passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield with nine overthrows, according to ESPN. The Irish decided to go deep because the Spartans were willing to play man-to-man on the receivers. Oklahoma also favors man-to-man coverage, and the Sooners have given up four completions on the 17 passes of 15 yards or more against them this season, according to ESPN.
- One of the better battles between big men this season will happen in the middle of Notre Dame's defensive line and Oklahoma's offensive line as nose guard Louis Nix III clashes with center Gabe Ikard. Nix, a 6-foot-2, 349-pound senior, has 14 tackles with one for loss and broke up a pass. Ikard, a 6-3, 298-pound senior, has been named to the All-Big 12 first team twice, and while he is giving up plenty of weight, the Academic All-American may be able to think of a way to neutralize Nix.
- Notre Dame is 9-1 against Oklahoma and is one of only two schools with a winning record against the Sooners with at least 10 games in the series. The other is Texas. The Sooners are making their first trip to Notre Dame Stadium since 1999, Bob Stoops first season as Oklahoma's coach.
- The Irish have scored only 10 points in the first quarter of their last three games and have only scored 47 points in the first half of their first four games. The Sooners haven't been much better in the first quarter, scoring just 13 points in the opening 15 minutes, but they have scored 53 points in the opening half of their first three games.