OU opponent watch: Notre Dame
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Thursday, October 25, 2012
10/25/12 at 2:49 AM
A closer look at the Irish
Offense: Running the football is the Fighting Irish's strength. The team is averaging 193.9 rushing yards per game and is led by Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. Tight end Tyler Eifert is the favorite target of quarterback Everett Golson, who returns to the lineup after missing last week's BYU contest.
Defense: The unit is anchored by consensus All-American linebacker Manti Te'o, who leads the Irish with 69 tackles, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Notre Dame is allowing just 9.4 points per game and no team has scored more than 17 points. Notre Dame hasn't allowed a rushing TD in 2012.
Special teams: Sophomore kicker Kyle Brindza has made 11-of-15 attempts this season, but is just 1-of-3 from 40 yards-plus. George Atkinson III is the team's leading kick returner (19.4 yards per return). The punt return game has struggled and ranks 111th out of 120 teams.
Coaching: Brian Kelly is in his third season , with a 23-10 record. He has faced OU once before. His visiting Cincinnati team lost 52-26 in 2008.
The series: Notre Dame has owned the lopsided series with an 8-1 advantage. Oklahoma's only win came on the road, a 40-0 triumph in 1956. One year later, the Irish sliced the Sooners' 47-game win streak with a 7-0 victory in Norman.