Friday, October 2, 2009

#1 Florida Escapes #3 Sooners Grasps

Gainesville, FL--It was the Game of the Week leading up to the game and it was the Game of the Week after it was over. It was hyped by ESPN as having a "national championship feel" due to the #1 and #3 teams battling it out. The two teams have faced each other three times in the last three seasons, with Florida winning the 2009 National Championship over the Sooners then beating them again in Week 2 of the 2009 season in Norman. In the end, this time was no different.

The Sooners received the ball first and drove down the field, ending with an 8 yard TD pass from Sam Bradford to DeJuan Miller. Sooners go up, 7-0. The Gators followed up with a methodic drive of their own ending with a 1 yard TD run by Jeff Demps. 7-7.

The second quarter saw more of the same. Oklahoma drove down to the Florida 1 yard line where they saw Sooner full back Buck Buchanan plunge over the goalline to put his team up, 14-7. Gator quarterback John Brantly was cool and calm. His 39 yard strike to T. Lawrence tied the game at 14. The Sooners answered with another Buchanan TD run, this time from 4 yards out. At the half, the Sooners lead 21-14.

The third quarter saw Florida move the momentum to their side of the field. They held OU scoreless while scoring twice themselves. They put the clamps on the Sooner offense while scoring on two Jeff Demps 1 yard TD runs (5:24 mark and :44 mark). At the end of three, Florida led 28-21.

The fourth quarter saw the teams once again exchange scores. OU started it off at the 6:21 mark with a Mossis Madu TD reception from 4 yards out. But before the Sooners could score, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford was hit late by a Gator defender (penalty called) which knocked him out of the game for the rest of the quarter. Landry Jones came in to make the pass to Madu. Tie ballgame, 28 all. Florida hit paydirt again at the 4:59 mark with a Demps 5 yard TD run. Florida 35, OU 28.

OU's next drive was the responsibility of Jones, the redshirt sophomore from New Mexico. Jones, who led the Sooners to several wins last season when Bradford was injured, came in cool and collect. He went 10-10 on the drive and ended it with a 16 yard TD pass to running back Jeremie Calhoun, leaving 1:26 on the clock.

The Oklahoma coaches said after the game they were worried they left too much time on the clock but when you get a chance to score, you have to take it and not worry about the time left. The time left would be too much. The Gators drove down, killing some clock along the way, hitting Aaron Hernandez on some big passes and finally, nailed a 29 yard field goal as time expired. Gators win, 38-35.

A look at the game's statistics tells how the close the game really was. The teams each had the ball for about 16 minutes (OU 16:08, UF 15:52) and had nearly the same number of first downs(OU 20, UF 19). They also came really close in: total offense (OU 384, UF 349), third down conversion percentage (OU 7-8 for 87%, UF 9-12 for 75%), redzone conversions (OU had 5 entries w/ 5 TD's while UF had 6 entries with 4 TD's and 1 FG), punts (OU had 1 for 47 yards, UF had two for a 46.5 yards per kick average) and penalties (OU 2-15, UF 1-10).

The big difference in the game appeared to be turnovers (OU had 2 INT's, UF had none) and the running game. Oklahoma only managed 14 yards on 17 carries while Florida had 102 yards on 33 carries.

The Players of the Game were: RB Jeff Demps (UF) with 26 rushes for 108 (4.1ypc) yards and 4 TD's. For Oklahoma it was DE Frank Alexander with 7 tackles, 5 for loss and 3 sacks.

Stats of Note:
OU: Bradford 23-28 294yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
OU: Jones 10-10, 76yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
UF: Brantley 19-23 247yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
OU: Calhoun 12-29yds, 0 TD
OU: Buchanan 2-5yds, 2 TD
UF: Demps 26-108, 4 TD
OU: Calhoun 7-93yds, 1TD
OU: Miller 6-59yds, 1 TD
OU: Owens 5-75yds, 0 TD
OU: Madu 5-41yds, 1 TD
UF: Hammond 5-69yds, 0 TD
UF: Hernandez 5-69yds, 0 TD
UF: Lawrence 3-65yds, 1 TD
OU: Bird 14 TKL, 2 DEFL
OU: Jackson 8 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 DEFL
OU: Box 8 TKL, 2 TFL
OU: Alexander 7 TKL, 5 TFL, 3 Sacks
UF: Black 9 TKL, 1 DEFL
UF: Hicks 9 TKL
UF: Jenkins 8 TKL
UF: Lemmens 6 TKL, 3 TFL, 1 Sack
OU: Kenney 3 KR-75yds
OU: Franks 2 KR-46yds, 1 PR-19yds
UF: Thompson 4 KR-125yds
UF: Haden 2 KR-99yds

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