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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Notre Dame-Oklahoma Preview Capsule

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  • No. 5 Notre Dame (7-0) at No. 8 Oklahoma (5-1), 8 p.m. (ABC)
     
    Line: Oklahoma by 10
     
    Series Record: Notre Dame leads 8-1
     
    WHAT'S AT STAKE
     
    Notre Dame will attempt to get to 8-0 for the first time in 10 years and stay right in the thick of the national championship dialogue. The Sooners will try to stay on the fringes of the race and firm up their status as one of the top one-loss teams in the country.
     
    KEY MATCHUP
     
    Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o vs. Oklahoma FB Trey Millard. One of the tasks for perhaps the Sooners' most versatile player will be tracking down the Fighting Irish's Heisman Trophy candidate to block him on running plays, while Te'o could have to chase him around in the passing game.
     
    PLAYERS TO WATCH
     
    Notre Dame: RBs Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. Riddick had a career-high 143 yards rushing and Wood contributed 114 as the Irish ran for 270 yards last week against BYU. Notre Dame has rushed for 796 yards in its last three games.
     
    Oklahoma: DT Stacy McGee. A part-time starter a year ago, McGee was reinstated this week after being suspended for the first six games. He'll help the Sooners' front line try to slow Riddick and Wood.
     
    FACTS & FIGURES
     
    It's the first meeting between the tradition-rich programs since the Irish won 34-30 in South Bend in 1999, Bob Stoops' first year as Oklahoma's coach. ... Notre Dame hasn't played in Norman since 1966. ... The Sooners' only win in the series came exactly 56 years earlier, during the school's NCAA-record 47-game winning streak. The Irish snapped that streak the following year in Norman. ... Notre Dame hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown in nine games. Oklahoma has 20 rush TDs this season.
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