Oklahoma football: Can Notre Dame use the Kansas State blueprint to beat OU?
OU FOOTBALL — When K-State rolled into Norman on Sept. 22 and broke OU's home winning streak vs. ranked opponents, the Wildcats won with QB pressure and an opportunistic offense. Can Notre Dame do the same vs. the Sooners on Saturday?
NORMAN — Bob Stoops' home invincibility vs. ranked foes was shattered during this, his 14th season as Oklahoma's football coach.
Kansas State left Norman with a 24-19 win Sept. 22, making the Wildcats the first ranked visitor to best Stoops' Sooners inside Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
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No. 5 Notre Dame will try to be the second Saturday, when the unbeaten Irish meet No. 8 Oklahoma at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats won over a month ago because they pressured OU quarterback Landry Jones, forced turnovers and were opportunistic offensively.
Can the Irish adhere to the Kansas State blueprint for Owen Field success?
“I would imagine everybody that's seen that film will try to emulate it,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “That's kind of the way it happens when you play and somebody has success against you, you see a lot of the same stuff.”
Notre Dame is tough along the defensive line, has shown a propensity for takeaways and features an offense capable of doing just enough to eek out close wins.
“I think they've been good at (the same things as Kansas State),” said senior fullback Trey Millard. “We lost to a team that did that. Shortened the game, kinda ran the ball on us. We made the turnovers that they needed to get enough points. We know we can't make the same mistakes in this game, or it'll be the same result.”
One stark difference between Notre Dame and Kansas State, of course, is at the game's most important position. Notre Dame has been inconsistent at quarterback, relying on a combination of usual starter Everett Golson and Tommy Rees.
Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein, meanwhile, is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner after leading his team to wins in both Norman and, last week, Morgantown, W.Va., where K-State routed former Big 12 favorite West Virginia.
“No ... Collin Klein is an outstanding quarterback, dual threat quarterback, extremely accurate throwing the football, and he's just a very patient runner,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said when asked if he noticed anything about Kansas State that makes the Sooners less effective.
But Klein wasn't his usual self against the Sooners. He was 13 of 21 for 154 yards, and rushed for 84 yards in the Oklahoma win. Kansas State's offense was effectively limited until the fourth quarter.
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