By Ryan Neeley
Protecting Blake Bell
Blake Bell was stellar in his first collegiate start against Tulsa, but Notre Dame is a much higher caliber team and this game is on the road. Bell needs to impress in his first road start to prove to the coaches that the quarterback competition is truly over and the key to him being able to this will be protecting him in the pocket against a monster Notre Dame defensive line. Two of Notre Dame’s starting defensive lineman were on the preseason All-American list and will test the Oklahoma offensive line. If the line is unable to protect Bell in the pocket will his mobility prove to be sufficient to escape the pass rush? The answer to that question is yet to be seen seeing that Tulsa was overmatched against Oklahoma’s offensive line.
Getting the run game going
The Oklahoma run game has been stellar the first 3 games of the season with Brennan Clay and Damien Williams starring. Damien Williams will need to get his head straight as last game he was sidelined with “off the field issues”. If Williams and Clay are unable to run against a tough Notre Dame defensive line do not be surprised to see some of the true freshman Keith Ford who Stoops has called “the most physical runner since Adrian Peterson”. Getting the run game going will also be a big part of getting the pass game off the ground. If the running backs show themselves to be enough of a threat Notre Dame will be forced to stack the box and that will make room for Oklahoma’s receivers to shine.