So, it’s finally come down to this—2009 FedEx BCS National Championship game day.
While there is a bit of controversy surrounding this year’s game—Oklahoma getting in over Texas and undefeated Utah not being invited to the party. One thing is still strikingly appealing about this matchup. It features two of the best offenses in college football. There’s no need to waste time, so let’s get down to the matchup, shall we?
I think, on paper, many people look at this match up and see how much more talented Florida’s defense is over Oklahoma’s and give them the edge.
They see that both teams have prolific offensive attacks, with one having a decisive defensive advantage and say let’s go with Tim Tebow and the Gators.
My mind is telling me that Florida will win this one, but for once I am picking with my heart.
Why do I think the Oklahoma Sooners will win?
I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen in love with Oklahoma’s offensive attack. Oklahoma’s offensive balance is probably the best I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
Sooners offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, has put together a no-huddle attack that has scored the most points in college football history.
Part of that has to do with the plethora of offensive talent primarily led by Oklahoma’s poised and ultra-accurate sophomore quarterback, 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford.
For a redshirt sophomore, Bradford put up scintillating numbers this year.
In 2008, he completed 302-of-442 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,464 yards, while tossing in 48 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
His strength lies in his tremendous footwork and his ability to freeze the defense with his eyes.
He can look to his left for most of a play—holding the defenders on that side of the field. Then, he'll take a quick glance to his right and fire a strike to a number of talented receivers. He’s also blessed with tremendous footwork in the pocket—his feet slide along the grass so smoothly that it appears as if he were dancing on glass.
Last, but not least, the quarterback position is all about processing information and Bradford is one of the smarter players in college football.
He can calmly process a high level of information and always seem relaxed in the pocket. He also puts some beautiful spin on the football—with tight rotation on the pigskin when it is released from his hand.
If Oklahoma is going to win this ballgame, clearly, it starts with Sam Bradford by giving him plenty of time to throw the football and find his offensive playmakers. Oklahoma’s gargantuan and extremely talented offensive line will have to help keep his jersey clean all night long.
Their five starters on the offensive line average 6'5" and 302 pounds!
The Sooners’ offensive line boasts one consensus All-American in left guard Duke Robinson. Their offensive line also has two first team All-Big 12 players in center, Jon Cooper and left tackle, Phil Loadholt. The unit only allowed 11 sacks all season and was easily one of the most dominant in college football.
The buffet busters up front blocked for not only one, but two 1,000 yard rushers this season—running backs, Demarco Murray and Chris Brown. They also were a key reason for the Sooners’ offense lighting up the scoreboard for over 60 points a game over their last five games of the season—a feat no other team in college football history has ever accomplished.
Another way the Sooners’ offense has been able to attack opposing defenses is by limiting their substitutions with the no-huddle scheme they run.
They run the no-huddle very efficiently, not only does it allow them more plays to score more points, but defenses also have fewer opportunities to make substitutions.
While Florida’s defense is extremely fast, I think the no-huddle will help the Sooners’ offset that advantage by tiring them. They won’t only be tired, but the Gators’ defense will likely be caught out of position on numerous plays, which isn’t good at all if you’re trying to stop one of the most prolific offensive attacks in college football history.
Everybody wants to talk about Oklahoma's big loss with Demarco Murray out due to injury. Yes, I agree it is a pretty big loss because the numbers that Murray put up in his junior season are dazzling. He chewed up opposing defenses for over 2,000 all-purpose yards this year.
What many don’t realize is that the Sooners’ offensive unit has arguably the best combination of skilled players in the entire country. Everywhere you look there is a record breaking receiver, tight end, or running back.
Losing Murray would be a crushing blow to most teams, but the Sooners have running back Chris Brown, who not only rushed for over 1,100 yards this season, but he also led his team in scoring with 21 touchdowns.
Sophomore running back, Mossis Madu, also might be one of the most overlooked players on this offense. He has quietly rushed for 463 yards and six touchdowns this season on 111 attempts. He’ll definitely get more carries in tonight’s game, and the nation will get a chance to see just how fast Madu is.
Two of the Sooners’ fastest players are receivers Manuel Johnson (38 catches, 685 yards, and nine touchdowns) and Ryan Broyles (42 catches, 661 yards, and six touchdowns). Both players have excellent acceleration and can turn on the burners— leaving defenders in their wake.
The best hands on the record-setting Sooner offense belong to the likes of receiver Juaquin Iglesias (69 catches, 1,092 yards, and 10 touchdowns) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (58 catches, 888 yards, and 12 touchdowns).
While both receivers might not be as fast as Johnson or Broyles, don’t be fooled, once they get in the open field they can scoot in a hurry. Gresham might play tight end, but he moves like a receiver and is a huge mismatch for opposing defenses. Both players will be playing on Sundays next fall.
This Oklahoma offense is truly one of the best.
It has been fun to watch them. After they lost to Texas, I hoped and wished that they would get their chance to get to the BCS National Championship game and sure enough, I got my wish.
For once, I would love to see an elite offense (Oklahoma) defeat a great defense (Florida) and modify the old adage in football—“Defense wins championships.”
I would love to see that not only does a great defense win championships, but so does a great offense. If my prediction comes true, then I will get another wish—watching the golden-armed gunslinger quarterback, Sam Bradford hoist the Waterford crystal skyward.
In the end, Oklahoma’s prolific offensive attack is simply too much for the Gator’s defense to handle. I don’t think Oklahoma’s defense will be able to stop Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, and the Gators’ lethal offense. It will all come down to the Oklahoma offensive attack and the fact that it is one of the best in college football history. Sam Bradford and company outscore Tim Tebow and the Gators in one of the best national title games in history.
Oklahoma 49, Florida 42