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Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma: Can Everett Golson handle the Sooners' defense?

Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly is confident his sophomore quarterback can handle the pressure of playing in a big road game in Norman.

Jonathan Daniel

It's tough for any quarterback to go into Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and pull out a win, let alone a sophomore in his first season under center. But Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly is confident Everett Golson can handle the pressure that comes along with playing in front of a packed, rabid stadium in Norman.

"It's bits and pieces throughout the year, at Michigan State in a very hostile environment, and then in big-game situations where we're playing on the road in Chicago. It's just a cumulative effect. In other words, all the pieces that come together for him to make him a better quarterback than he was earlier in the year is his experience, and we think he'll build on that and should not have any problem playing in a big environment at Oklahoma because he's already done it."

Golson's already been a part of some pressure packed games, including a close win over the Stanford Cardinal. He missed last week's win over the Brigham Young Cougars after suffering a concussion the week before against the Cardinal. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Sooners have made easy work of every team they've faced this year except the surging Kansas State Wildcats who dropped the Sooners in Norman 24-19. Golson will be facing a stingy Sooner defense that gives up an average of just 15.3 points per game, good for 12th best in the nation.

This will be a tough test for the Irish who head to Norman playing just their second true road game of the season after visiting East Lansing and beating the Michigan State Spartans 20-3.