BCS National Championship: Notebook - OU's Chris Brown shines — except in red zone

Oklahoman Modified: January 9, 2009 at 12:42 am •  Published: January 9, 2009
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Bizarre, considering the two teams combined for 392 first-quarter points this season. It was the first time this season OU was held scoreless in an opening quarter.

HARVIN TAKES UP SLACK

Florida lost tailback Chris Rainey to a gruesome-looking leg injury in the second quarter, when he was tackled on the sideline by OU linebacker Keenan Clayton. But slotback Percy Harvin took up the slack.

Playing at less than 100 percent after late-season injury, Harvin had 122 yards on nine carries and caught five passes for 49 yards.

“Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin sparked our offense in the second half,” Gator coach Urban Meyer said. “Percy had several big plays and showed what a tough guy he is, coming back from the injury.”

TEBOW THE CHEERLEADER

Tebow seemed to motivate the Gator crowd much of the game with cheerleading motions.

“I was trying to get us some momentum,” Tebow said. “We needed to get the crowd excited. At that point, I just kept fighting to make plays. I love being a Gator!”

ZONE BLITZ UP AND DOWN

In the first half, the zone blitz — in which the linemen drop back into pass coverage while teammates blitz from elsewhere — both helped and hurt OU. Tebow threw a touchdown pass when he scrambled against the zone blitz and had defensive tackle Adrian Taylor coming up trying to chase him.

But in the second quarter, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made an interception off a Tebow throw over the middle.

BIG DAY FOR GRESHAM

OU tight end Jermaine Gresham had a big night, with eight catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns. But on OU's final snap of the first half, first-and-goal from the Gator 6-yard line, Gresham was not on the field.

Stoops said he didn't know if Gresham had been injured on the previous play, in which Gresham was knocked out of bounds.

CHANEY JOINS CLUB

OU senior flanker Quentin Chaney comes to play in bowl games. Chaney had two catches for 37 yards against Florida. He joined Iglesias and Corey Warren as the only Sooners ever to finish with more than 200 yards receiving in a bowl career.

PLEASE PUNT

A strange sequence occurred in the third quarter, with OU facing fourth-and-4 and lined up to punt. The Sooners called timeout just before the ball was snapped to Mike Knall, who went ahead and (poorly) punted. After the timeout, OU was called for a false-start penalty in punt formation. Then just before another punt, Florida called timeout.

Finally, on the fourth attempt to have a regulation punt, we found out what all the concern was about. The Gators rushed Knall, who got the punt away and was roughed, drawing a penalty that gave OU a first down.

FROM STAFF REPORTS



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