Thursday's meeting at the Orange Bowl for all the marbles will face two high powered offenses and two Heisman trophy winners. Yesterday we looked at the top five reasons Florida wins and today we will look at Oklahoma. Las Vegas Odds Makers have made Oklahoma a four point underdog in this BCS match up.
1. Sam Bradford
Heisman trophy winner for this year in college football will pose a huge problem for the very fast Florida defense. He has led this offense to more than 50 points for there last 6 straight games. Bradford and this offense have been unstoppable and led by there passing attack. Florida's first goal is to put pressure on Bradford and to not allow this passing offense to get long pass plays.
2. Chris Brown
Rushing the ball this year he split time with now injured Demarco Murray. Both rushed for over 1,000 yards and were unstoppable combination. To keep the pass rush off of Bradford it will be very important for Brown to carry the load by himself. If they can't establish the run it will allow Florida's pass rush to pin there ears back and put a ton of pressure on the offensive line and Tebow.
Hard to say how good this defense is because in the Big 12 those great offenses can make the stats look ridiculous. Oklahoma though have convinced themselves that there defense is a good as it looked against Texas Tech the last game of year. The unit's leader is WLB Travis Lewis, who has made 136 tackles, three for sacks, 12 for losses, with four interceptions. They must step and take away the running attack of Tebow and make Florida throw the ball to beat them.
4. Special Teams
Many experts are very worried the poor special teams of Oklahoma. Kickoff return defense has given up 4 td's and against Florida there very quick return men could really hurt them. Also Florida has blocked the most punts in football so Oklahoma will have to max protect on punts which should mean really good returns. Oklahoma better have improved the special team in the four weeks they had off because they can't afford to give up field position to this great offense of Florida.
5. Oklahoma Wide Receivers
Run after the catch is a huge part of the Oklahoma offensive plans. All the receivers for Oklahoma can turn a five-yard pass and make a defender miss and turn it into long play. Blocking the front seven for Florida will be tough so long pass patterns will be tough to complete. Bradford and his receivers will have to settle for underneath passes and hope that this great group of receivers can make the big long plays.
For Oklahoma to win, I believe they must score a ton of points. If it is a low scoring close game think it really favors Florida. Oklahoma needs a wide open game where there high powered offense can score a ton. Should be a good coaching match up and will be interesting to see the game plan from each coach. If you are betting this game think you either take Oklahoma straight up money line or you take Florida and the points.
Good luck to all of you. Get Craig's official sports picks for this and all matches at CT Sports Picks.