With each passing minute the monumental match-up between the Sooners and Gators gets closer and closer. The two teams are very closely matched and it is hard to predict who will come out on top, so in this feature Sooners Illustrated takes a look at three key match-ups that could tilt the game in or out of OU's favor.
3. OU's kickoff coverage vs. Florida's return game
The ever-so dangerous junior return man Brandon James
will look to break his first touchdown return of the season when he takes the field at the BCS National Championship game in Miami. He has almost 700 return yards on the season, averaging nearly 24 yards per return, and his longest of the year was a 52-yarder against Tennessee back in September. OU, on the other hand, will try to limit the damage that has hurt them all season, including that huge kickoff return for a touchdown by Texas senior Jordan Shipley
in October. It has been the Sooners' Achilles heel, and it will be interesting to see if it plagues them again in the title game.
2. The Swamp's O vs. an underrated OU defense
Florida has a very productive offense, with a former Heisman Trophy winner at the helm in junior quarterback Tim Tebow
. They have a couple of solid running backs in freshmen Chris Rainey
and Jeffery Demps. And then there's the electrifying junior Percy Harvin
, who has been battling an injury, but is extremely explosive. But the Sooners have a little defense of their own that is quite overlooked. With the big bruisers up front and good, aggressive linebacker play from redshirt freshman Travis Lewis
and junior Keenan Clayton
, along with an experienced secondary, the Sooners will be ready to go defensively. OU boasts the nation's best turnover margin with a 1.77 average per game, as they have created 32 turnovers and only lost nine this year.
1. OU's video game offense vs. the smothering SEC defense
The OU offense has been electric and unstoppable all year. This video game offense has posted unprecedented numbers all year, averaging a nation-best 54 points per game en route to setting a modern-era record of 702 total points so far this season. Sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford
has sat back and torched opposing defenses for more than 4,400 yards and 48 touchdowns. While the Sooners will be without sophomore running back DeMarco Murray
, they will have juniors Chris Brown
and Mossis Madu
. Brown leads the team with 1,110 rushing yards and Madu has nearly 500, so the running game is just as dangerous. Florida's vaunted SEC defense will be at test to stop the Sooners' air and ground attack. It is by far the most powerful offense the Gators have seen this year. So, will they be able to shut down Sam and the Sooners?