Dunlap Anxious for Big Challenge

The Oklahoma Sooners led the Big 12 this season by only allowing 11 sacks. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap led the Southeastern Conference with nine sacks by himself. The lack of pressure applied by opposing defenses has allowed Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford to pass at will this season, but Dunlap is looking to change that.

Oklahoma's fast-paced offense will challenge Florida's defense. It's by far the best passing attack they'll face all season. But on the flipside, the Sooners haven't faced a pass defense like the Gators.

"We're going to have to come ready to play," Carlos Dunlap said. "We're going to go after him. We'll have a good scheme and we're going to get into his face. If we don't get in his face he's going to complete a lot of passes."

Dunlap will have the challenge of going up against a huge offensive line. Lining up at left tackle is 6-8, 337-pound senior Phil Loadholt.

"He is going to be the biggest guy I've ever gone against," Dunlap said. "Andre from last week was a big guy, too, but they've got a lot of big guys on their team. Their whole O-line is big. We're going to just have to come ready to play and stay low."

Oklahoma's ground game took a hit earlier this week when they learned that their second leading rusher DeMarco Murray went down with an injury.

"We've seen him make some big plays, but it's a big team, so they're going to have some playmakers," Dunlap said.

With so much time between games, the hard thing for the Gator defense will be to maintain the intensity they built up over the last half of the season. Dunlap said, though, a shot at the national championship provides plenty of motivation for that.

"We've been conditioning hard every day, so that when the game comes we'll be ready to compete," he said. "Getting to the national championship game is motivation enough. I've just been taken care of my body. Everybody wants to play in the big game and perform at their best level. Everybody is taking care of their bodies."

As well as Florida's defense played in the last nine games, however, Dunlap said they still haven't played their best.

"I don't think we've full arrived yet," he said. "I think we still have a lot of room to get better. We want to do it even better so we don't even lose that one game. You can always improve. There is always room to get better."


Fightin Gators Top Stories