Published: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:43 p.m.
GAME 14: No. 2 Florida vs. No. 1 Oklahoma
KICKOFF: 8:17 p.m.
LOCAL RADIO: 103.7 FM; AM-850
FAVORITE: UF by 3
Looking for some stops
Defensive stops will be gold for the UF defense in this game. The Gators appear to have a huge edge on special teams, especially in the punt return game with Brandon James. But can the defense force the potent Sooners to punt? That's one of the critical questions heading into this one. If the Gators can get some defensive stops, Florida has a chance to make some big things happen with James in the return game.
Oklahoma basically runs its two-minute offense throughout the game, getting to the line in a hurry and firing off plays that have kept opposing defenses reeling throughout the season. UF coach Urban Meyer said it would be almost impossible to prepare for such an attack in only a week. But the Gators have had more than a month to prepare, and Meyer has said that's enough time for the Gators to get a handle on the fast-break attack. The UF defense (and coaches) are going to have to be quick, alert and ready to rock after every play.
Trying to play keep-away
Like the Sooners, the Gators have a high-powered, high-scoring offense led by a Heisman-winning quarterback. Obviously, the Gators would like to pile up the points tonight. But maybe the most important goal is to control the ball and the clock with sustained drives. The best way to prevent the Sooners from turning this into a shootout is to keep the OU offense idling on the bench while Tim Tebow and the UF offense are moving the chains and burning the clock. It's all about ball control for UF.
Target on his back (and front)
The Florida defensive players say they're fired up to go against Sam Bradford, who beat out Tebow for the Heisman Trophy. It's a huge challenge because Bradford is a deadly accurate passer who has been given tons of time to throw by an offensive line that features four seniors and one junior. To have any chance of slowing down Bradford and the OU offense, the Gators are going to have to get some pressure on Bradford and force him into some bad throws and mistakes. If he has time to stand in the pocket and scan the field, it's going to be a long night for the Gators.
ROBBIE ANDREU'S PICK: Florida 41, Oklahoma 40
(Season record: 11-2)
TODAY'S GAME QUESTIONS
1. Can the Gators generate a pass rush and get to Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford?
2. The Gators' No. 1 defensive goal is to stop the run. Can they?
3. Will UF's offense be able to control the ball and the clock with sustained drives?
4. Can UF cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden cover OU's fast and talented receivers?
5. Will Bradford suffer a Heisman hangover, or will he have a big game?
Check back after the game to read Andreu's Answers.
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