12-0 (8-0), 1st Western Athletic
11-2 (7-1), 1st Big 12 - South Division
The Oklahoma Sooners come into this game with nothing to gain and really everything to lose. If they win, that's great, but they beat a non-BCS school which did not beat a ranked team all year. If they lose, they will be the laughing stock of the college football world. Boise State has everything to prove, not just for them, but for every Non-BCS school. The fact that they belong playing in these types of games. Utah won the Fiesta Bowl a few years ago against Pittsburgh, but a Broncos win over the Sooners would be much bigger.
The Sooners had a rough start to their year, first Rhett Bomar and a starting offensive lineman were kicked off the team for taking a lot more money for a job than they should have. The Sooners bounced back under the new quarterback's leadership, Paul Thompson who threw for 2434 yards with 8 touchdowns, and won their first two games. But we all remember what happened against Oregon. And then a loss two weeks later against Texas killed their hopes for a Big 12 title, so they thought.
The Sooners also lost their running back Adrian Peterson in the middle of the season but he will return to play in this game. Peterson rushed for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns in 6 games. His replacement Allen Patrick had 700 yards and 4 touchdowns in 9 appearances. Those two are going to have their work cut out for them as Boise State's defense only gives up a little over 80 yards rushing per game. At WR Malcolm Kelly is the leading guy with 993 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Sooners have a tough run defense too giving up only 98.2 yards on the ground per game. It will test Boise State's rushing attack lead by Ian Johnson.
Johnson missed one game this season due to a collapsed lung but still managed to rush for 1613 yards and an astonishing 24 touchdowns. Handing him the ball is Jared Zabransky who has similar numbers to Paul Thompson. Zabransky has thrown for 2325 yards with 20 touchdowns and 7 inteceptions. The Broncos have three receivers with 500 yards each in Drisan James, Legedu Naanee, and Jerard Rabb. The three have combined for 11 of the 20 touchdowns passes thrown by Zabransky.
The Broncos are no push over team so the Sooners cannot take them lightly. One has to wonder how Peterson will react to the first hit. The collarbone can be a sensitive area and if not totally healed it can have him running at less than 100%. Good thing for the Sooners that they have a good backup in Patrick. It is going to be a tough time for either team to find anywhere to run on the ground, but after the dust settles I think the Sooners will come out on top. It won't be a big win, so Boise State will be proud of its performance, just not good enough to win. Oklahoma 27-21
Brian from CFR