This year the Fiesta Bowl has the unfortunate distinction of being the annual BCS snore-fest. A BCS game hasn’t been considered as much of a foregone conclusion since the 2006 when a heavily favored Oklahoma played Boise State, and then promptly lost. The two games are not similar; Oklahoma’s presence not withstanding and with all due respect to the Connecticut Huskies. Oklahoma was at one point ranked number 1 in the BCS poll. UConn was not ranked all season. Oklahoma went 6-2 against bowl eligible opponents while UConn went 4-3 and only played a beat a single ranked team. So the Sooners find themselves in the unfortunate situation where they might not be able to win. Even if they do win the game.
3 Keys from the Scouts
1. Can Oklahoma’s defensive line make plays? The Sooners are 5th in the nation in tackles for loss. The Huskies allow only 5 per game on average. Forcing UConn into long down and distance situations marginalizes Jordan Todman and opens up more opportunities to sack the quarterback. If the Huskies can get into 3rd and short situations they can move the OU defense off the ball.
2. How well will Jordan Todman play? Todman is the best player on the Huskies and the second leading rusher in the nation. Oklahoma has struggled against the run all season despite only allowing two 100 yard games. Todman is a dynamic threat that can take over a game. The Huskies need to have long sustained drives to tire out OU’s defense and more importantly keeping Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, and Demarco Murray on the sidelines.
3. Ryan Broyles must make plays. Broyles is a dynamic play maker that will be the focus of the Huskie defense. It shouldn’t matter. Broyles is that good and DeMarco Murray’s effectiveness makes it all the more difficult to double cover Broyles.
Bold Prediction: “Big Game” Bob is in a no win situation. The Sooners can’t be pumped about playing a 4 loss team in the Fiesta Bowl. UConn on the other hand is playing in the biggest football game in the University’s history. Todman is a tough player to corral but the Sooners survived Kendall Hunter, Roy Helu, and the Air Force rushing attack. I would look for OU to win this game, though probably not by as much as they would have in September. OU 38 UConn 21
|3rd||Jordan Todman||RB||23||3Jr||Quick, elusive ball carrier highly considered in scouting circles. Creates his own yardage, has a burst and explodes through the small creases. Considered a better pure ball carrier than former first round draft pick Donald Brown by a number of scouts. Very likely to enter the draft.|
|4th||Lawrence Wilson||OLB||8||5Sr||Athletic linebacker who blows up plays. Makes plays in every direction of the field. Small and lack of size is a limiting factor.|
|4-5||Zach Hurd||G||78||5Sr||Big dominant blocker that annihilates defenders once engaged in a block. Graded as early as a third round selection by some scouts.|
|6-7||Anthony Sherman||FB||49||4Sr||Nasty blocker with terrific vision. Also a good receiver out of the backfield.|
|7-FA||Scott Lutrus||ILB||32||5Sr||Hard charging linebacker who goes sideline to sideline. Shows a real good head for the ball yet constantly struggles with injury.|
|FA||Cody Endres||QB||12||4Jr||Physically gifted signal caller dismissed from the program in mid-season.|
|FA||Zach Frazer||QB||10||5Sr||Terrific game manager that lacks NFL physical skills.|
|FA||Twyon Martin||DT||4||4Jr||Explosive tackle that fires through the gapes up field to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.|
|FA||Greg Lloyd||ILB||95||4Sr||Tough, run defending, two down linebacker whose career has really been limited by injury.|
|1st||DeMarco Murray||RB||7||5Sr||Explosive ball carrier with an array of skill. Solid receiver out of the backfield. Has an upside but more than likely a rotational running back versus a feature runner. Stayed healthy this year but has an injury history.|
|2nd||Ryan Broyles||WR||85||4Jr||Elusive pass catcher that’s dangerous running after the reception. Not built like a number one wide out but well thought of in scouting circles.|
|2nd||Jeremy Beal||DE||44||4Sr||Fast, athletic defensive end who makes a lot of plays up the field or out to the flanks. Some project him as a 3-4 outside linebacker though we feel he’s best in a conventional system at defensive end.|
|3rd||Travis Lewis||OLB||28||4Jr||Explosive linebacker who flashes on the scene and has a physical presence. Plays heads-up football, always looking to hit someone and effective in space. Offers terrific upside potential.|
|3rd||Jarvis Jones||T||76||4Jr||Nice sized blocker with a high upside developing at a fast pace.|
|3-4||Quinton Carter||S||N||5Sr||Highly considered safety that’s really taking his game to the next level. We like him best in a zone system and feel he needs a lot of work on his ball skills.|
|5-6||Cory Brandon||T||70||5Sr||Developing blocker with potential at a number of positions on the offensive line.|
|6-7||Adrian Taylor||DT||86||5Sr||Hard working defensive tackle with great first step quickness. Has an upside but struggling to return from a gruesome injury suffered one year ago.|
|7-FA||Brandon Caleb||WR||8||5Sr||Consistent possession receiver with sure hands.|
|FA||Cameron Kenney||WR||6||4Sr||Potential fifth receiver at the next level.|
|FA||Mossis Madu||RB||29||5Sr||Shows enough skills to get looks as a fourth ball carrier on the roster.|
Game Preview: Brent Foshee
Prospect Preview: Tony Pauline