Article Excerpt: The two storied programs will meet for the first time since 1999 in Saturday night's top 10 showdown.
No. 5 Notre Dame (7-0) at No. 8 Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1 Big 12)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
Spread: Oklahoma by 10
Watchability: High. The Sooners have set a standard under coach Bob Stoops that Irish coach Brian Kelly is trying to emulate in his efforts to resurrect the Notre Dame program. During Stoops' tenure, Oklahoma is 14-1 against ranked teams in Norman and 3-0 against top 10 opponents. It's been more than five years since Notre Dame has been involved in a top 10 matchup. Though both teams remain in contention for a spot in the BCS National Title Game, the losing team on Saturday has little chance of playing in Miami on Jan. 7.
Shining stars: Notre Dame -- LB Manti Te'o. The Butkus and Lombardi Award nominee has forced six turnovers (four INTs and two fumble recoveries) through seven games – only one player in FBS has created more. Earlier this week, Sooners All-American C Gabe Ikard marveled at Te'o's field presence while watching film on the Irish. With Te'o's speed and instincts, Ikard said it seems like the Irish middle linebacker never gets blocked. If Te'o can create a short field for the Notre Dame offense by forcing turnovers, the Irish's chances of winning will substantially increase. Oklahoma -- QB Landry Jones . Notre Dame ranks eighth in FBS in pass efficiency defense, but has yet to face a quarterback the caliber of Jones. Stoops' decision to move electrifying wide receiver Kenny Stills to the outside and Jalen Saunders to the slot has opened up the offense. Jones has been precise with his reads and hasn't forced throws over his past three contests. During the stretch the senior quarterback has eight TDs and one INT, while averaging 293.3 passing yards per game. Irish DLs Stephon Tuitt and Kapron Lewis-Moore will look to force errant throws from Jones by creating relentless pressure.