Over the last week, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has bristled at the notion that Saturday's game in South Bend, Ind., is more important than any other game on the Sooners' 2013 schedule. His brother and defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops, repeated the claim Monday after practice.
Apparently, Bob Stoops didn't get his talking points passed out to everyone in the Switzer Center, though. Senior center Gabe Ikard said the Notre Dame contest will be a pivotal one for this team and “could point our season in one direction or the other.”
Also during the bye week, co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell shot down the idea that this is just another game.
“This is a special game,” Norvell said. “We'd be lying if we say it's just another game. It's not. You don't get to play in South Bend very often.”
IRISH DIFFERENT WITH REES
Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin said Notre Dame's offense will be “a little different” with Tommy Rees at quarterback, but that he doesn't necessarily expect the Irish to be any easier to defend.
Last year, Everett Golson quarterbacked Notre Dame to a 30-13 victory in Norman. Rees, a more traditional pocket passer, has completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,111 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions so far for the 3-1 Irish.
“(Golson) was great at creating plays with his feet; he was great at making a play when there wasn't a play to be made,” Colvin said. “Rees is just as good. He's smart. He might not be as mobile as Golson, but he can still make the same throws.”
NDULUE: D-LINE SETS THE TONE