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Oklahoma And Its Unproven Quarterback Visit Notre Dame And Its Tough Defense

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/26/2013 8:18:32 PM

The Oklahoma Sooners really don’t yet know what they have on offense, and especially at the quarterback spot. They’ll learn a lot about themselves this weekend in South Bend, Ind.

Oklahoma Sooners @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Saturday, September 28
Sports betting line: Oklahoma -3.5

Why Oklahoma Will Win

In a contest of online betting, the importance of offense is not to be dismissed, but Oklahoma’s defense is probably the biggest reason it can beat Notre Dame this weekend. Oklahoma’s defense was very tame, almost timid, last season, but in the first month of the 2013 season, the Sooners are flying to the ball faster, and they’re not giving up on plays the way they did at times in 2012. This defense is finishing plays to a greater extent, and it is hustling to minimize big gains by opposing offenses. This defense had a tendency to droop its shoulders and lose belief last season when things weren’t going well. It’s true that Oklahoma is enjoying more prosperity and success on defense this season, so the Sooners’ defense hasn’t been as depressed as it was (and hasn’t had a chance to be as dejected, either). One could say that Oklahoma’s defense has not yet been punched in the mouth this year, a reason to value Notre Dame in this game. Yet, that’s something of a chicken-and-egg argument. If Oklahoma shuts down Notre Dame from start to finish, the Sooners won’t ever be in a position to doubt themselves, and they’ll be fine.

It has to be said here that Notre Dame’s offense has not inspired much confidence this season. The Fighting Irish have struggled in terms of establishing a running game. Quarterback Tommy Rees is throwing the ball too often and is not getting enough help from his offensive line. The matchup between OU’s defense and Notre Dame’s offense shapes up well for the Sooners.

Why Notre Dame Will Win

When betting websites break down this contest, they’re going to give a good, long look at the following claim: The best reason to take Notre Dame in this contest is that the Fighting Irish’s opponent might not be up to the task. This statement gains weight when looking at the clash between Oklahoma’s offense and Notre Dame’s defense. If OU likes its chances because of its defense, Notre Dame will feel even more optimistic because of its own defense.

Notre Dame has a strong front seven, and if the Fighting Irish generate a consistent pass rush, Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell – who has never started in a game as big as this one, especially on the road – will be placed in a tough situation. Bell was a running quarterback last season, and he was used in short-yardage or goal-line situations. If he has to pass the ball consistently in this game in order for Oklahoma to win, Notre Dame should feel that it has the Sooners and their offense right where it wants them: in trouble.

Who Will Win?

Blake Bell is not ready to win this game. That’s the simplest and best reason to take the Fighting Irish at home, even though Notre Dame has not looked like a very impressive team in recent weeks.

College Football Betting Pick: Notre Dame +3.5

If you want to choose a single, reliable source for all your college football betting needs this season, make it this one.

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