Catching up with College GameDay’s Desmond Howard
Desmond Howard is one of four football players to win the Heisman trophy and the Super Bowl MVP. The former Michigan wide receiver is now part of the College GameDay crew. He talked about GameDay and the ND-OU game.
On the buzz around campus: I think that it’s a big game. I haven’t been around campus so I couldn’t say I feel the buzz around campus. But it’s obviously a big game. Anytime you have an undefeated Notre Dame team come to your stadium, it’s huge. Oklahoma is still trying to climb into the ranks for a national championship bid. It’s big.
On this game compared to other stops for the GameDay crew this year: We hope it will be a great game. We won’t know until tomorrow. We think, on paper, it looks like a fantastic matchup when you have Notre Dame’s defense, which is one of the stingiest defenses in the country, against an Oklahoma Sooners offense that really seems to be hitting its stride. Landry Jones seems to be finding a rhythm now with the receivers. The scene, on paper, is great. But they still have to go out there and do it.
On who is under more pressure: I don’t think either team is under more pressure htan the other because I think both teams have great aspirations. Notre Dame is a big brand. Obviously they want to continue to win. Obviously, Coach Stoops wants to defend his home turf. The last time they had a big, meaningful game here, they were embarrassed by Kansas State. He doesn’t want that to happen again. Both teams fill some self-imposed pressure to be as good as they think that they are.
On Notre Dame’s defense slowing down Landry Jones and the OU offense: They will have some success. I don’t know how much success. We’ll see. But I think they’ll have some success, no doubt about it. They are a great defense. Their weakness is their secondary, but their strength is their front seven. They take a page out of Kansas State’s book. If the front seven dominated Oklahoma’s offensive line, they’ll have success. I think Oklahoma’s offensive line is a little better now than they were about four weeks ago when they played Kansas State. We’ll see. This is the biggest test they’ve had since the Kansas State game, there’s no doubt about that.
On if there’s pressure not to lose so as to not fall from national title hopes: There’s no doubt about that for Oklahoma. They already have one loss. If they have two Ls, they’re done as far as their national title hopes. I don’t think it’s a secret or a mystery to anybody. I think they know that coming into this game. But you have to take it one game at a time and you can’t think like that. To me, that’s the biggest and quickest way to hurt your chances, thinking ahead like that. You have to take your one-game-at-a-time mentaility. You look at a team like Alabama … what some people don’t understand is Nick Saban does a good job of keeping guys focused on the game in front of you. They aren’t think NCAA championship right now. They are thinking Mississippi State. If you think in those terms, you are setting yourself up for failure.
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