NORMAN, Okla. – Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly’s game plan heading into his team’s epic match-up at Oklahoma on Saturday night was pretty simple: play fantastic defense and get enough offense to survive.
Halfway through the night, Kelly has to be pleased. The fifth-ranked Fighting Irish (7-0) are leading the eighth-ranked Sooners 10-6 at halftime.
Notre Dame’s defense has limited an explosive Oklahoma offense (averaging 45 points per game) to just a pair of field goals, as it continually bent (allowed 197 yards of offense), but never broke.
The Sooners (5-1) scored a touchdown on a short run by reserve quarterback Blake Bell, but the score was negated by a holding penalty.
Notre Dame trailed 3-0 midway through the first quarter, but took a 7-3 advantage on a 62-yard run up the middle of the Oklahoma defense by Cierre Wood. The Irish have outgained the Sooners 106 to three in rushing yards.
Notre Dame also added a 34-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza after a 5-plus minute drive midway through the second quarter.
Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5 of 11) has thrown for 55 yards in the first half.
Defensively, Notre Dame is being led by All-American linebacker Manti Te'o, who has already amassed 11 tackles and a sack.
The Irish will receive the ball to open the second half.