Oklahoma rolled into their bye week with a perfect 3-0 record, but they’ll face their biggest test of the season to date when they travel to Notre Dame Stadium to take on the 3-1 Fighting Irish.
The No. 14 Sooners were last in action two weeks ago, when they thumped Tulsa 51-20 in Norman behind an incredible debut from Blake Bell, who threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns. OU put up 607 yards of offense with Bell, who lost the starting job to Travis Knight leading up to the season, but Knight had problems against Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia, so Bob Stoops gave Bell another shot and he capitalized. He’ll likely get the start at Notre Dame.
The No. 22 Fighting Irish needed a few breaks to edge Michigan State 17-14 at home, their second straight victory after a 41-30 loss at rival Michigan. Tommy Rees completed just 14 of his 34 pass attempts for 142 yards and a score for Notre Dame in an ugly game where they were outgained 254-220 in yards, but they took advantage of 10 Michigan State penalties, including four pass-interference calls. However, the Fighting Irish had eight penalties themselves, and they’ll need a much better effort to get past Oklahoma on Saturday.
OU is favored by 3.5 points on the betting lines in their first trip to Notre Dame since 1999, when they fell 34-30. The Sooners would also love to avenge a 30-13 beating in Norman last year, one of two home losses that Oklahoma suffered and that will likely play a major role in motivation. The Notre Dame defense has been solid, but they’re not as good as last year and the offense is inconsistent. You should lean towards a well-rested Oklahoma team to win while covering the spread as well.