Thursday, September 24, 2009

Off Week

The Sooners have the weekend off to regroup before traveling to South Florida to take on an old rival, Miami. Because of a lack of new news coming out to Norman, "The Boomer Blog" will be sizing up the Miami Hurricanes to give Oklahoma fans a preview of what they're coming up against.

The Breakdown

Oklahoma Offensive Line V. Miami Defensive Line.
Edge: Miami
Although Oklahoma's front five have been looking progressively better in the weeks since the BYU game, this line is still the achilles heel of this offense.

"The Boomer Blog" is still sure that you'll be seeing a much improved offensive line later in the season, and a bye week might be exactly what James Patton needs to figure out who his two best guards are.

Oklahoma Defensive Line V. Miami Offensive Line.
Edge: Oklahoma
This one isn't even close. Oklahoma's front four are absolutely as good as it gets and next weekend they're going to face a Miami offensive line that was the question mark for the Hurricanes coming into the season. 

Miami faced good linebackers this season when they played Florida State and they faced a great DE in Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech but really haven't faced a complete defensive line like they're going to see next Saturday. You can quote us on this one when we tell you, "The match up between the Oklahoma D-Line and Miami O-Line will win Oklahoma this game."

Oklahoma Receivers V. Miami Defensive Backs
Edge: Miami

The majority of the OU receiving corps have looked lack-luster the past few weeks. Ryan Broyles might but up Heisman contender numbers this year, but other than Brandon Caleb the Sooners really don't have anybody out there to catch the ball. This is evident by a few missed TD passes from a few players last week who will remain unnamed (mostly because everyone already knows who they are).
If the Canes have anything, it's athletes. And having great athletes almost always means you have great defensive backs. These guys are young but TBB has faith that our receivers are definitely outmatched here.

Oklahoma Defensive Backs V. Miami Receivers
Edge: Oklahoma
Miami's receivers are almost all unproven underclassmen. In the same breath, they're still receivers recruited by Miami from the South Florida area which means they're big and fast.
Brian Jackson and Dominique Franks have been good this season and Quinton Carter has proved in every game why he's the man at free-safety (and probably should have been last year).

Oklahoma Run Game V. Miami Run Defense.
Edge: Oklahoma
It has to be the Sooners here. DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown are the best running tandem in all of college football. Add in the fact that Oklahoma has been getting some surprise production from Jonathan Miller and Jermie Calhoun, and you're talking about a running back stable that would probably only be matched by Georgia Tech and USC. 
The O-line might slow the Sooners down here against a pretty good Miami front seven. But the fast pace of the offense should compensate for the problems up front.

Oklahoma Run Defense V. Miami Run Game.
Edge: Oklahoma
Take the front four we've been talking about and add run-stuffer Ryan Reynolds, Keenan Clayton and Sophomore sensation Travis Lewis and you have one hellova run defense. The Sooners have given up 41.7 YPG on the ground so far this season and although it's unlikely numbers will be that low against Miami, it's also unlikely they're going to be all that much higher. This means the success of the offense will be resting squarely on the shoulders of Jacory Harris...

On the other side of the ball, Junior RB Greg Cooper is the man that can do it all. Oklahoma is going to have to scheme to keep him contained in the run game, as well as in pass coverage. Remember who caught the game winning touchdown in Tallahassee? That's right, it was Cooper.

Landry "Stache" Jones V. Jacory Harris
Edge: Jacory Harris
"The Boomer Blog" is now hearing that Sam Bradford has a strong chance to play next Saturday with news coming in from a broadcast station in Mississippi that Bradford will be traveling to Alabama to visit with an Orthopedic Surgeon James Andrews this weekend to be cleared. At the same time it would be foolish to count our chickens before they hatch so we're going with Jones to start. Both freshman quarterbacks have been impressive for their respective squads so far this season. But, Harris has faced better competition and by his efforts has managed to put himself in the Heisman race. 

With that being said, Jacory Harris has never faced an opponent that is going to put more pressure on him than Oklahoma. These boys aren't weak up front like Georgia Tech and they won't be missing tackles in the backfield like Florida State did a few weeks back. If Harris isn't ready for the pressure this game goes to Oklahoma and Landry Jones.

Head Coaching Matchup
Edge: Too close to call.

Additional Advantages

Oklahoma's inability to play on the road...
The Sooners have, quite honestly, played piss poor ball on the road in the past few years. Throw all the BCS games in with the losses to Texas, as well as losses at Texas Tech and Colorado and you have what would have to be considered one of the most bipolar football teams in the NCAA.

In Oklahoma's defense, this game coming against Miami seems to be a little different than other regular season road losses. Most importantly, this IS NOT a trap game; Oklahoma circled this game on their schedule before the season started. Also, Sooner coaches have made it abundantly clear to the players that one more loss will mean the end of the road.

Miami's rough four game stretch...
By the time these two teams meet in Miami, the Hurricanes will have already faced Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks. The likelihood of a team making out of a schedule like that completely unscathed is pretty slim. Miami will only have seven days to get ready for Oklahoma. The Sooners will have been preparing for the Hurricanes for two weeks by that point. 

As stated above Sam Bradford is on his way to Alabama as we speak to meet with Orthopedic Surgeon James Andrews. Now most Oklahoma fans will immediately assume that Bradfords trip to see Andrews will be to do some sort of season ending surgery to prepare for the combine, but that thinking is false. Sam is making a trip south to see if the talented surgeon will clear him to play in time for the Miami game. TBB is hearing sources say this is probably due more to Bradford's insurance policy than anything else. Surely there are stipulations in a multi-million dollar policy that state that Sam must be cleared to play after suffering an injury such as this, and who better than Andrews to clear him?

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