Potential Pitfalls...

This is the second part of a two-part series on the OU defense facing Tim Tebow and the Florida offense. The first explained three reasons OU could stop Florida . In this, I will mention three reasons it might not happen.


The defense has had some trouble meshing as a group this year at times with all the injuries it has sustained. When redshirt junior linebacker Ryan Reynolds went down against Texas , the Sooners immediately placed junior Brandon Crowe in the position, but that didn't work. Then, in the following game against Kansas , OU moved senior strong safety Nic Harris to the middle linebacker position, but that didn't work. Reynolds has been out for the season since that game, and the Sooners lost a major force in the interior of the defense with that injury. Junior defensive end Auston English sustained a knee injury against Nebraska , and that takes awhile to heal fully, even though he played and recorded three tackles against Missouri in the Big 12 Championship. The latest victim is junior defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger, who recently underwent back surgery and will miss the title game. Experience from the rest of the defense could make up for the season-ending losses of Reynolds and Granger, but there could be an obvious problem here as well.

Short breaks off the field

OU head coach Bob Stoops has been questioned many times this season about the potential problems associated with his high-powered offense and their quick drives, if it's possible to find a negative in them. He has always responded by saying it's not a problem as long as they are scoring and scoring fast. That theory will hold true once again against Florida . As long as the Sooners are scoring—even if Florida gets right back on the field and scores—it won't play as much of a factor. But if the Sooners have a consecutive set of three-and-outs, the short breaks for the Sooner defense could become a factor. Any offense will take advantage of getting back onto the field so quickly, especially a team as talented as Florida .

The Big Play

Comparing former teams to present teams is typically not an accurate method of comparison, but the Sooners have consistently had trouble defending the big play in bowl games in the recent past. In fact, the Sooners have given up 10 touchdowns of 30 yards or more in the past four years in the postseason, including four last year against West Virginia , three in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Boise State and three in the 2005 National Championship at the Orange Bowl against USC. If the Sooners can limit the big play from Tebow and the rest of the Gators' offense, they should be fine. If not, OU could be in for big trouble.

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