Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma: A 1957-style matchup

COMMENTARY — The Fighting Irish come to Norman on Saturday with a ground-based offense and rugged defense. The Sooners will have to play that style to win the game.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 25, 2012

Notre Dame's front seven on defense is stout, led by middle linebacker Manti Te'o. The Irish pass defense is suspect, particularly since Notre Dame hasn't played an offense close to the aerial explosiveness of the Sooners'.

But that doesn't mean Landry Jones should air it out. He threw 36 passes at Texas-El Paso, 43 against K-State, 40 at Texas Tech and 37 against Texas.

Don't expect Landry to throw that many times against Notre Dame. The Sooners want to run the ball, and even if the Irish stand strong — they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown all season — a punt is not a bad thing.

Not in this game. Fifty years ago, when Notre Dame ended OU's 47-game winning streak, the Irish punted eight times and the Sooners 10. A punt was not considered abject failure back then. Heck, a third-down quick kick was in every team's playbook and used often.

Might be the same way Saturday night. Get two stiff defenses together, which is danged hard to do in this day and age, and the game could turn on a turnover.

Why subject Landry to that fierce Irish pass rush, which could create havoc? OU has the better offense. Don't waste that advantage with turnovers.

Play it safe, Sooners, and you should win, even if it's 1957 style.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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