Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense is gearing up to stop 6'6, 250-pound Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell on Saturday.
The defense has carried the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish so far this season -- the unit currently ranks second in the FBS in terms of points allowed per game (9.4) -- but the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners will present a tremendous challenge on Saturday night. The Sooners have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the FBS (44.7 points per game average), and 6'6 quarterback Blake Bell has been an interesting part of the equations when Oklahoma gets down around the goal line.
Landry Jones is the primary QB, and he has been very good, but Bell has racked up a whopping total of eight rushing touchdowns in limited action so far in 2012. To put it in perspective, Bell has those eight touchdowns on just 31 rushing attempts. Irish head coach Brian Kelly knows things will be very difficult for the defense if the Sooners get deep into the red zone (via CSN-Chicago):
"If it's first and goal from the five, we're going to have a hard time keeping them out of the end zone.... It's a great short yardage offense. And he's big, he's physical, (he's) running behind a very good offensive line."
"I told our defensive coaches this: If he's on the field, we're going to have to do something really extraordinary, because he's a tough guy to stop."
Will Manti Te'o be able to stuff the massive QB if there's a goal line situation? It will be fun to find out. The Fighting Irish take on the Sooners in Oklahoma at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday (ABC).