Oklahoma Sooners and Stanford Cardinal To Go 'Strength On Strength'

Logan RogersCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  (L-R) Keenan Calhoun #22, Gerald McCoy #93 and Adrian Taylor #86 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a defensive stop against the Florida Gators during the FedEx BCS National Championship game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The time has come, one last chance to head off in to the sunset with a bowl trophy. No more practices left to grind out. Besides a walk through, not much left to do at all. Just strap on the pads, get in your stance, and see who wants it more.

Sure Stanford will throw some, play action, screens, and maybe even a few 'trick' plays.

But the Cardinal offensive co-ordinator David Shaw doesn't exactly feel the need to. "...we know it's going to be our stength versus Oklahoma's strength." He went on, " There's not going to be no secrets."

Stanford power running attack versus Oklahoma's run stop.

I know, I know, Coaches lie. Alot. But Shaw has proven that fact, in games against the toughest opponents.

Toby Gerhart ran for a school record 223 on Oregon, in a game that was not completely decided until late.

Then at USC, a team who's athletes compare well with OU's, the Stanford bruiser rushed for 178 and three touchdowns. Late in the game, the Trojans knew the power run was coming, and just could not stop it. 

Of the 78 yard drive Stanford put together for a game-winning score, Gerhart rushed for 54 of those, ending up with a 205-yard, three touchdown night.

When the Cardinal feel they gotta have it, they give it to Gerhart. And Stanford feels they gotta have this one.

"No. He's different." Brent Venables (OU D co-ordinator) said of Gerhart when aked if he has seen comparable power. That's true.

The Big 12 doesn't have many 'big' backs, and none with the skill set that Gerhart brings. The same argument can be made when comparing defenses that Stanford has faced so far also.

USC would come the closest, and that was a 'woodshed' game. But even Carrol's defense can't completely stand up, man for man, with the Sooners.

The Big Red front seven may be the best in the game today, led by junior DT Gerald McCoy.

"I think, statistically speaking you won't see him (McCoy) come up quite as much as you would maybe anticipate." Venables noted." He's important but there are alot of other peices that are important as well."

Sounds like Coach is trying to send a message. Or make a statement. Not sure either is needed though.

For players like McCoy (leaving for NFL), Jeremy Beal (maybe leaving for NFL), and Ryan Reynolds, who just lost his second appeal for a fifth year of eligibility, this is the last chance to close a season as winners.

One last chance to hoist a trophy that doesn't say Big 12 Championship. Just one thing stands in the way. The Stanford offense. 

Come Jan 31, at 1pm, stand back, and let them square up. So we can see who wants it more.