OU-Boise State Pregame Notes

The Sooners (11-2) and Broncos (12-0) will kick-off at 7:50 p.m. (CST) Monday in Arizona in a battle between the two winningest programs in Division 1 since 1999. See inside for more news and notes, including quotes from Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Brent Venables, Kevin Wilson, Boise State's Chris Petersen and Barry Switzer on the matchup. (AP Photo)

Kickoff
7:50 p.m. CST. -- Monday, Jan. 1, 2006 -- University of Phoenix Stadium (73,000) | Stadium Facts -- Surface: Natural Grass -- Glendale, Ariz.

Television/Media
Monday's game will be televised nationally by Fox (Cox 12 in OKC/Cox 5 in Tulsa). Thom Brennanman (play-by-play), Barry Alvarez (analyst), Charles Davis (analyst) and Chris Myers (sideline) will call the game. Former Sooner head coach Barry Switzer will be a part of the Fox broadcast during the pregame, halftime and postgame shows. The game can be heard on the radio in Oklahoma on KOKC 1520 AM. It is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 155.

Live Stats

The Rankings
The Sooners (11-2) are ranked No. 8 in the Coaches Poll, No. 7 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 10 in the BCS. Boise State (12-0) is No. 9 in the Coaches Poll, No. 9 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 8 in the BCS.

The Coaches
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 86-18 in his eighth season in Norman. Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is 12-0 in his first season as the Broncos' head coach.

Game Notes
Monday's matchup is a showdown between the top two teams in terms of winning percentage and wins in Division 1-A since 1999. Oklahoma is first in wins with an 86-18 record, while Boise State is 85-16 mark. The Broncos lead in winning percentage (.842) to OU's (.827)...On the all-time wins list, Oklahoma is third (769) while Boise State is 10th (317)...The Sooners have never played Boise State, but they are a perfect 7-0 against teams from the Western Athletic Conference...Oklahoma will be designated as the home team and wear their crimson jerseys...OU is 5-4 in bowl games versus unbeaten teams and 0-1 against 12-0 teams (USC in 2004)...Boise State coach Chris Peterson is just one of two head coaches to win 12 games in his first season...Bronco running back Ian Johnson ranks second nationally in rushing yards per game (146.64), and quarterback Jared Zabransky is seventh in passing efficiency...The Broncos are just the second team from a non-BCS conference to play in the series (Utah was the first)...Boise State became a D-1 school in 1996. Since that time, they are 2-8 against ranked teams. They are also just 3-4 in their last seven games against BCS conference teams.

Barry Switzer on the matchup
"What we're gonna find out is if a great little team can play a great big team. You know what I mean by that — Oklahoma is a great traditional power and Boise State is a new team that is trying to become a college football power.

"Everybody knows where these two teams stand in the landscare pf college football. Everybody respects what Boise State has accomplished and everybody respects how good they are. However, it's no secret that Oklahoma is undefeated against teams from the WAC. And even though Boise State has great credentials, they still have to prove they can beat a power like Oklahoma. They have never been able to do that and what we don't know is if they have what it takes to prove it on the field.

"It's no secret what this game comes down to. Boise State has to come out with a great amount of emotion. If they don't come out with great emotion or Oklahoma comes out with equal emotion, Oklahoma is going to win. If Oklahoma doesn't come out with great emotion, then we're going to have a ballgame."

Bowl History
The Sooners are 24-14-1 in bowl games, which ranks them third all-time bowl in victories. Alabama is first with 30 and USC second with 29. They are 1-1 in the Fiesta Bowl and 4-3 under Stoops in bowl games. OU has the second-most BCS bowl appearances with five. Florida State leads the way with six. OU's previous two cames in the Fiesta Bowl came in 1976 (41-7 win over Wyoming) and 1983 (32-21 loss to Arizona State).

The Broncos, who are making their fifth-straight bowl appearnce, are 4-2 all-time in bowl games. Last season, they lost to Boston College (27-21) in the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise. In 2004, they lost to Louisville (44-40) in the Liberty bowl. The hold bowl wins over Louisville (1999), UTEP (2000), Iowa State (2001) and TCU (2003).

About Boise State
Offensively, the Broncos currently rank 2nd nationally in scoring offense (39.42 ppg) and 10th in total offense (424.25 ypg). They are 54th nationally in passing offense (201.42 ypg) and 6th in rushing offense (222.83 ypg).

Defensively, Boise State is 18th in scoring defense (15.58 ppg) and 14th in total defense (273.75 ypg). They are 7th in rushing defense (82.0 ypg) and 48th in passing defense (191.75 ypg).

Punter Kyle Stringer averages 45.2 yards per punt (long of 61), which would place him 7th nationally if he had enough kicks to be eligible for the rankings. Kicker Anthony Montgomery is 13-for-17 on field goals (long of 40) and 56-for-58 on extra points.

Complete Rankings

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

About Oklahoma
Offensively, the Sooners currently rank 26th nationally in scoring offense (293.8 ppg) and 41st in total offense (365.77 ypg). They are 71st in passing offense (188.38 ypg) and 19th in rushing offense (177.38 ypg).

Defensively, Oklahoma is 17th in scoring defense (15.31 ppg) and 17th nationally in total defense (280.23 ypg). The Sooners are 18th in rushing defense (97.85 ypg) and 36th in passing defense (182.38 ypg).

Punter Michael Cohen ranks 46th nationally with a 41.07 average (long of 75). Kicker Garrett Hartley is 17-for-18 on field goal attempts (long of 46) and a perfect 45-for-46 on extra points.

Complete Rankings

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

OU head coach Bob Stoops on Boise State
"I am looking forward to the challenge of playing a great Boise State team. They are an undefeated football team that has played exceptionally well throughout the year. We have a great challenge in front of us.

"I'll promise you as a team here at OU — our players, coaches — we've got great respect for Boise. You watch them on tape — they're a very good football team in everything they do. Very disciplined, play hard, play sure of theirself. They've got a lot of ability.

"I was talking to someone, who is a close friend of mine whose been visiting with pro scouts. They (Boise) had pro scouts in there watching them and they're watching 10 different players that they're evaluating for this year's draft. So they're a really talented, good, disciplined football team. Coach Peterson and his staff have done a great job.

"We recognize it as another big, big challenge. Our players, being in so many bowls games, are very familiar knowing that the game is what really matters. We've all been to nice places, but winning the football game is what makes the biggest difference in the bowl experience. So we'll be focused to do what we need to do to win the football game.

"They're a really good, disciplined football team. Very talented. I'd have to say a team that wins all their games is very sure of theirself, very confident in how they play. And they play fast that way. So they're a very good team structurally on both sides of the ball. They're very good at what they do, so you've got to be at your best to beat them."

OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson on Boise State's Defense
"They are real good. Their team speed is good as a group. You watch their front four and then their backers — they took a converted corner and made him their low safety or outside backer. They basically play with three corners in the secondary and when they go to the nickel a fourth corner comes in. That puts a lot of speed on the field for them.

"Our defense is a speed defense with great team speed. We are not the biggest team that walks on the field in a lot of weeks, but there is a lot of activity, and that is the way they play. They are very active with their safeties and they put a lot of stress on two corners. They get locked up in man and those guys play in a league with good skill that passes a lot, and they are used to playing lock down defense.

"It is cat coverage. I got this cat, you got that cat. And the rest of you guys go tackle the guy with the ball. They try to eliminate receivers by having guys who can lock up and play one-on-one. I think there is a reason why they have won 12 games. They have won them all and a team who has won every game is pretty good. You are not going to get every call or every break. There are still going to be some glitches and they have still been a good enough team to get them all.

"A team that plays core enough, is +10 in turnover ratio, and chases the ball like they do are no fluke. They can play defense.

OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables on Boise State's Offense
"They don't have to prove anything to us. If anybody else has watched them play and hasn't seen what everybody is talking about, then they are blind. You would expect them to come in here very inspired. It is the pundits who have said they have no chance, it has not been us. We don't believe that for one bit.

"They are very good at what they do and they know what they are doing. You can see they have a system in place and it has been in place for some time. They are confident in what they are doing. That is why they have had success regardless of who they have played. Even in the Georgia game a year ago, although they had three turnovers in the first four or five drives, they were moving the ball a lot. They hurt themselves, obviously, with those turnovers so the score to us was not indicative to the game or their ability against good athletes.

"Some people have talked about their size, but they don't need guys to knock you off the ball as much as out-leveraging you, out-gapping you and getting you into a position where you don't adjust. Things are happening awfully fast pre-snap and it doesn't take much. It is six inches here and six inches there. And if you don't get lined up right then they can hit the big play on you. They are very good at that and it's something that we have be careful about and be on top of you game about.

"As a running back, he (BSU's Ian Johnson) is a terrific back. He is really the total package. He has great vision, balance, strength, explosion and he is a very patient runner. He understands their schemes and you can see that he understands fits. He understands safety fits, linebacker fits and he knows when to make the right cuts.

"Ian breaks a lot of tackles and the people that we talk to say that however fast he looks on tape that he is a lot faster in person. I feel like he is the best running back that we have seen as far as strength, balance, ability to catch the ball and the fit for their offense. He is really a terrific player.

"He (BSU quarterback Jared Zabransky) is a senior that has had a tremendous amount of success and he makes all the right decisions. He is very athletic, very mobile and very efficient at running their offense. The execution, the precision and the aggressiveness of their offense goes through him.

"Schematically, their philosophy as a staff and as an offense is very aggressive in their approach. They probably don't care what you do as much as what they do. They try to dictate the tempo from start to finish. However, it all starts with him (Zabransky). He is a very confident player, very aggressive player and he makes a lot of big plays with his legs.

"When he is in trouble, he is a scrambler looking to throw. That is the threat that worries you.We have seen a couple of guys this year that were terrific athletes and who concern you running the football, and breaking the pocket down. However, when they can find vision down field and have the awareness with the receivers to get open, that makes it very difficult to defend. It is hard to simulate that in practice. That is it as much as anything."

BSU head coach Chris Petersen on Oklahoma
"They're the best team we've seen for sure. The more you study them you're hoping to find these weaknesses, but I think they're Oklahoma for a reason. It's pretty apparent.

"Our guys do their best when we're challenged the most. You put the tape on and they'll see. They're smart football players. They'll know and they'll do their homework. We'll get some good practice here coming up and we'll show up with our A game.

"I think we're the underdog. We kinda know who's the favorite in this game and I think that's enough. Like I said, these guys usually play their best when we're in the underdog role.

"I think anytime anybody researches them they become even more impressive of all the things they've done their in the past. It's just a great opportunity for our program to be talked about and to get an opportunity to compete with those guys.

"He's (Adrian Peterson) a special, special player that only comes around ... not often. It just leaves you with so little room for error. You can't miss a tackle or it's over. He'll go the distance.

"The guy is big and powerful. He's one of those guys that will be the fastest guy on the field. It's just another challenge. One of the many we'll face oe around very often.

"He's gonna be, if not the top pick, right there in the NFL draft. He's a special guy. It will be fun for our guys to get a chance to play against him.

"The thing I know about our team is the bigger the challenge the better they've played all year. Every game that we've had, when we've wondered what's going to really happen here, they've answered and they've played their best.

"So I'm expecting these guys to play the best game that we've had all year."


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