Gators experienced on offense, not on defense
Florida will post an interesting lineup in the Big Bowl. The Gators start five seniors on offense, including three on the line, plus junior quarterback Tim Tebow, who seems like he’s been around forever. But UF starts no seniors on defense.
That means a few things. Mostly, if Florida’s defense produces against Oklahoma, or even if it doesn’t, the Gators have a chance to be big-time good on defense next season.
Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong admitted earlier this week that this defensive line doesn’t compare to the d-line the Gators used to beat Ohio State in the 2006 national title game. And you can see why. Three sophomores start on this line.
Florida looks to be really good in 2009, when it could be bucking for its third national title game in four seasons. The Sooners could stop a budding dynasty in Miami Gardens on Thursday night.
The Sooners will field a similar lineup. Six seniors start on offense, just two on defense.
Of course, these days, you lose more than seniors. OU’s 2009 fortunes will be largely determined by whether Sam Bradford, G.K. McCoy and Jermaine Gresham decide to turn pro.
The Sooners should be really good on defense next year, with just safeties Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes for sure gone, and maybe McCoy, their best player.
OU returns great pass rushers in Frank Alexander and Jeremy Beal, cornerbacks Dom Franks and Brian Jackson, and a linebacker star in Travis Lewis.
Offensively, the Sooners will be rebuilding without Bradford. The offensive line loses four starters, all but Trent Williams, and even he could turn pro.
Don’t expect to see Oklahoma in Pasadena, Calif., for the national title game next season. But Florida could be there.
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