Kirk Herbstreit discussed the Notre Dame-OU game. As the commentator on ABC's game broadcast, he won't pick the game on ESPN's “College GameDay.”
What are some of the keys to the game?
I think Oklahoma getting Stacy McGee is big. It gives them a three-man rotation at defensive tackle. I think the last three weeks the defense has gone to a different level. The energy they are playing with, the confidence they are playing with, they have created nine turnovers the last three weeks. Really, the Kansas State game they didn't do poorly. The turnovers caught up with them. I think the Oklahoma defensive front against Notre Dame's offensive line will be a big matchup. Notre Dame has got to be able to run the football, and they've got to take some of the pressure off their redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson. I think Golson's ability to create, his ability when things break down to get out of trouble, you'll see a lot of that on Saturday. He is an athletic guy who can really throw it, but he is just young. How he responds to the atmosphere and the athletic defense he faces is big.
On the other side, this is the week we finally see the Oklahoma offense against this Notre Dame defense. Notre Dame's front seven is getting a lot of press, a lot of hype, and they deserve it, led by Manti Te'o. Their front seven is probably playing as well as anybody, and they're very physical, and they're very athletic and they're going to go up against this Oklahoma team as we all know in recent weeks has had the ability to make the big play. Can Notre Dame hold up against the run and can they put pressure on Landry Jones and be able to try to get him to throw the ball in coverage, and can they get turnovers? If Notre Dame can't get turnovers and if they can't get a short field, it could be tough for them to win this game on the road. I think they've got to win the turnover margin and they got to get the ball in short field situations for Everett Golson and their offense.”
Who will win the battle of the Belldozer (Blake Bell) vs. Notre Dame's defense?
Well, it will be a good one. He's 6-6, 250-some pounds. I think for him to do his thing, he needs a little bit of room to kind of get his momentum established. I think Notre Dame is thinking when he gets in the game, they've got to get penetration. They've got to be able to not let him get downhill. If he does, like everybody else has seen, it's hard for people to stand up to him.