Once again, we sit here reliving the 2011 season as it is coming to a final close this Friday night as the Oklahoma Sooners and the Iowa Hawkeyes face off on the gridiron. While there is not much history between these teams there are a few story lines that will intrigue a few. Take for example Bob Stoops who suited up for the Hawkeyes the only time these two teams have met. On the other hand, this game is being rated as one of the top five bowl games to watch this post season with Oklahoma as the 14 point favorite. But, (there is always a but) will the Sooners sleep walk into this one nonchalantly leading to yet another upset?
There have been a few players who have made a statement early but then became just a blip on the radar due to an injury or due to other teams keying in on them more often. Here are three players to watch in the Insight Bowl.
Oklahoma likes to recruit aggressive kids with a knack for speed to play on defense and Javon Harris is no different. There has been plenty of opportunity for the safeties this season as both starters were seniors last season. While this was one of the biggest questions marks, it became less and less of a concern through the first several games then opened itself up like a nasty can of worms once again. Harris came up with some big plays but the most memorable of him this season are the big plays he gave up time and time again. The talent is there but the aggressiveness came back to bite Harris as he took bad angles, over pursued, and simply tried to hard to make a play while forgetting the title of the position...safety. Harris has a lot to prove in this game and will be a senior next season. With Travis Lewis off to the NFL, this defense will need leaders in a hurry. Hopefully Harris recognizes this opportunity and had a solid outing to get back in tight with the coaches and fans as he will be a big part of this secondary next year.
There has been a load of hype following this kid since his arrival on campus. He is now drawing personality comparisons to the great Ryan Broyles and some of the qualities that made him the player he is. Will Kameel Jackson hit that same level of play? Only time will tell. However, Jackson is a physical runner with the ball in his hands and has the necessary skills and size to excel on the collegiate level. Broyles is out, Jaz Reynolds has been struggling with a kidney issue, and Kenny Stills has had a rough season. So, if there was an opportunity gift wrapped in gold, here it is Jackson! The Sooners are bringing a ton of receiving talent in players like Sterling Shepard and Trey Metoyer...now is the time to make a case as to why you should attempt to be the next great receiver at OU.
It is no secret that Trey Millard is a do-it-all jack-of-all-trades caliber of player. The kid is the most versatile player on the field on every single down. However, the fans have yet to see Josh Heupel use him to his full potential. Millard showed us a glimpse of what he was capable of with his crushing blows when he got a carry but it all culminated itself with his 61 yard touchdown run against the Kansas St. Wildcats. Millard has also been instrumental in the success when reaching the redzone coupled with Aaron Ripkowski (will most likely be replaced by Jaydan Bird in the Belldozer package). Yet, the most intriguing part of Millard during the Insight Bowl will be to see how many positions he is inserted at along with how many touches he will get. Oklahoma will have no returning tight ends and is depleted at the running back position, but it will come down to play calling to see just exactly how this kid's talents are used.