Through seven 2012 games, Notre Dame's defense hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown.
“That's just unbelievable, but give them all the credit; they're really tough inside,” said junior center Gabe Ikard. “It's just another challenge we'll have to face.”
Asked if he'd issued any kind of challenge to his team regarding the Irish's zero rushing scores allowed, coach Bob Stoops said he hasn't, adding that he views this game no differently than all others.
“We try and make (rushing touchdowns) every week; why would this week be different?” Stoops responded.
The Sooners have scored 20 rushing touchdowns so far this season, and they've come in many forms. Junior running back Damien Williams has scored on runs of 65, 89 and 95 yards, while backup quarterback Blake Bell has scored eight times out of the Belldozer package.
“You just hit him,” star Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o responded when asked about the Belldozer this week.
“At the end of the day, you bring 'em to the ground, so not anything different. He runs the same as anybody else. Obviously he's bigger than normal running backs, but it's football, you know, it's nothing different.”
JOHNSON: THIN O-LINE IS FAMILY
Oklahoma's offensive line, while thin, has played well, and especially over the past three games.
The Sooners lost senior starters Ben Habern and Tyler Evans around the beginning of fall camp, and then reserve guard Nila Kasitati tore his ACL in OU's Oct. 6 win at Texas Tech.
“I think we've come together pretty well,” said senior tackle Lane Johnson. “It's been tough on us; we don't have a lot of depth.
“It's caused us to come together as a unit. We go out there and practice, give it our all. We're pretty much like family.”
NCAA RELEASES LATEST GRADUATION RATES
The NCAA released its latest Graduation Success Rate figures Thursday, and, according to the numbers, 47 percent of Oklahoma's football players who entered college from 2002-05 graduated within the NCAA's six-year window.
The rate is lowest among teams currently ranked in the coaches' top-25 poll, according to a USA Today study.
Notre Dame's GSR was 97 percent. The Fighting Irish and Sooners play Saturday in Norman.
OU's men's basketball team was reported with a 71 percent GSR, and the women had 100 percent.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, on Oklahoma's recent offensive production: “If you look at Oklahoma in the last few weeks, just putting up so many points, you're not going to win those games.”