Landry Jones: Irish D poses problem

NORMAN, Okla. -- Landry Jones understands No. 8 Oklahoma will face a test unlike most any other when hosting No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday.

The Sooners quarterback will look across the line of scrimmage and see linebacker Manti Te'o, a Heisman candidate, in the heart of a Fighting Irish defense that hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown in seven games.

"They're going to make you beat them," Jones said Monday. "They're not going to beat themselves."

Notre Dame's defensive numbers are staggering. It ranks No. 2 nationally in scoring defense at 9.4 points per game, allows just 3.4 yards per carry and ranks No. 6 in total defense at 280.7 yards per game.

"They're a good defense, they play well together," Jones said. "They're not going to let anything by them."

In other words, the Sooners will have to earn everything they get on Saturday.

The Fighting Irish have allowed more than 300 total yards just once this season and have created 17 turnovers.

Just as important, OU will have to protect the football if it has any hopes of winning the battle of top-10 teams.

In the Sooners' lone loss, a 24-19 upset by Kansas State, three turnovers -- including two by Jones -- doomed OU's chances of pulling out the victory.

"When you have a game between two top-10 teams, they're a factor," OU coach Bob Stoops said of turnovers. "They were a factor earlier this season with us.

"To me, it's the biggest factor in games like this."