It is difficult to point out a lot of negatives from Notre Dame’s victory of Oklahoma on Saturday. However, there are always things that can be improved upon. The Fighting Irish will need to continue to play near perfect to maintain their unblemished record. Here are some of the negatives from the game that Notre Dame can improve upon:
Notre Dame Allows 364 Yards Through The Air
Despite only allowing 13 points per game, the Irish Defense surrendered 364 yards through the air to Landry Jones and the Oklahoma Sooners. This was part of the strategy for Bob Diaco and the Fighting Irish defense. Notre Dame still allowed several passes across the middle of the field to open receivers. It took a while for the Irish to adjust to Oklahoma’s aerial assault. If Notre Dame wants to defeat the Trojans in the last game of the season, they will have to prepare for another assault via the air.
Defensive Line’s Pressure is Inconsistent
Notre Dame struggled to get pressure with just the front four. They were forced to bring multiple linebackers, cornerbacks and at times safeties. Although this was successful, getting pressure with the front four will be the key to defeating teams in the top-5 of the BCS (if they end up crossing paths). It was refreshing, however, to see Bob Diaco adjust to the fact that Notre Dame could not get pressure initially against the Sooners.
Unintended Consequences of Victory
It is important to point out that the Fighting Irish will now hear how good they are. This will could have negative results if the Irish fall into the trap of “letting down”. Notre Dame will need to keep their edge down the stretch. Notre Dame faces a risk of coming into a game without an edge against teams like Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest.