Early yesterday evening it was announced that Oklahoma and Stanford would face each other in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve. Then it was announced by Cardinal Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh that starting quarterback Andrew Luck wouldn't be playing against the Sooners.
Luck has thrown for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns this season but suffered an injury to his hand against Notre Dame and is now recovering from surgery. He'll be replaced by Tavita Pritchard who was once the starting quarterback before Luck arrived. Pritchard has completed 244 of 449 pass attempts at Stanford for 2,747 yards but also has thrown 22 interceptions to 15 touchdowns. Looks like Toby Gerhart is going to get even more touches.
Pritchard led Stanford to their first upset of #2 USC in 2007 so the Oklahoma defense isn't going against someone who has never been under pressure. It doesn't mean that the game plan for Oklahoma's defense didn't just get easier or the bowl game didn't get uglier. There's a reason why Pritchard was beaten out by a redshirt freshman and now having him in the game puts OU at a defensive advantage. Both defenses will be focused on stopping the run and making quarterbacks beat them.