Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Florida's Offense vs. Oklahoma's Defense

Thursday's BCS National Championship will feature 2 great offenses and 2 suspect defenses that will decide the game.

What Florida wants to do: Florida wants to establish the run with Percy Harvin, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps before opening up the pass for Harvin, Louis Murphy and tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Cornelius Ingram. Quarterback Tim Tebow will actually look to pass first rather than take off a bulldoze the Sooners. Tebow, although wanting to the win the title, will also want to prove to the NFL that he can be a quarterback in the pros. Florida's spread and speed will be their main weapons and advantages, using space to get the ball to their playmakers. Florida's offensive line keeps with this principle, while being lean but not fat. Florida's offense is built for screens with speed at skill positions and agility on the line.

What Oklahoma wants to do: Oklahoma wants to (like every other team in every other game) wants to make Florida one-dimensional, preferably primarily using the pass as the first option. All-American Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a key cog that clogs up the middle against the run for the Sooners. The OU defense also has been defending the pass most of the year, as the opposing offenses have been a) from the Big 12 and b) playing from behind. On the ground, Oklahoma has held Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter and Missouri's Derrick Washington in check, both outstanding players. If Oklahoma does what they want to, stop the run, they may be able to somewhat control the Gator offense.

How Oklahoma stops Florida: Oklahoma should go nickel (5 defensive backs) every series to match up with Florida wide reveivers and tight ends and only keep in 2 linebackers. The linebacking corps of OU has been continually dessimated and weakened, pushing freshman Austin Box into the spotlight. From the 4-2-5 formations on defense, Oklahoma should try to bring 5 or 6 guys to put pressure on Tebow to make a quick decision. If necesary, a QB Spy may be needed. When UF played Miami, the 'Canes were able to limit Tebow by bringing blitzes up the middle into his face. OU should try to do the same to stop it.

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