MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Florida's defense found out early Thursday night that Oklahoma's hurry-up attack was nothing it hadn't seen — in practice.
“All month, we had our scout team offense running that,” said Gators defensive end Carlos Dunlap. “And our scout team actually ran it faster than Oklahoma did.”
Florida held the Sooners to 14 points, the program's fewest points since Oct. 7, 2006, in a loss in the Cotton Bowl to Texas.
As much as those losses to the Longhorns hurt, this was worse, because of the stakes and because of the stops to an offense that had been compared to the greatest in college football history.
“They come in here, I don't want to say too much, but I knew they were not going to score 60 points,” said talkative Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes. “I saw them throw the ball around, and the defenses they play against are kind of like our scout team.”
The game changed on two major stoppages in the first half.
After getting a first down at the Florida 9, the Sooners were stoned, turned back on four straight runs, the final two from the 1.
“Huge,” said Florida defensive assistant and former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. “Huge.
“If they would’ve scored a touchdown there, they might be up there now saying they're the national champions. Instead, we did a great job.”
The Sooners even had the Gators in the wrong defense on fourth down, expecting pass.