The Fiesta Bowl is not only the final game of the 2006 OU football season but the final game for Adrian Peterson in an Oklahoma uniform, the complete BCS bowl cycle for 6 OU seniors and the opportunity for Bob Stoops to improve his BCS bowl record to 3-2.
The Boise State Broncos are not only playing in the biggest game of their season but the biggest game in school history. You have to wonder how much pressure the Broncos will put on themselves and how they will handle that pressure.
The Sooners have been playing under pressure since their loss to Texas knowing that another loss would eliminate them from Big 12 championship competition. Actually you could say that they have been under pressure since August when Rhett Bomar was dismissed from the team.
As far as big games go the Broncos have Oregon Sate and Hawaii on their resume. Their in-state rivals are the Idaho Vandals which is a far cry from the Bedlam rivalry the Sooners share with Oklahoma State. The Sooners also have big game experience in the Red River Shoot-Out with Texas and the Big 12 Championship game. Big game experience definitely goes in favor of the Sooners and that could be a huge factor tonight. While the Broncos are making their first BCS appearance ever the Sooners are in the habbit of showing up in the BCS.
Oklahoma's Keys to Success on Offense
Keep feeding the ball to Adrian Peterson. Peterson was scheduled to break the all-time rushing record at Oklahoma in late October. Instead he suffered a fractured collarbone and has been on the sideline since. Tonight marks his return and he will be a man possessed in his final game as a Sooner.
Get the Play-Action Pass Going. We all know that Peterson is going to get fed the ball so take advantage of that to set up the play-action pass. OU has the weapons for an effective passing game and they become even more dangerous when defenses are keying on the run.
Protect the Ball. Boise State could struggle to find scoring opportunities against the Oklahoma defense so its crucial that the Sooners not give anything.
Oklahoma's Keys to Success on Defense.
Contain Ian Johnson. Johnson is going to remind OU fans of Quentin Griffin with his size, speed and heart. The Sooner defense will have to get off of their blocks and keep him from breaking free.
Control the Line. This goes for both sides of the ball. OU has a size advantage and they need to make the most of it.
Pressure Zabransky! Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky has done a much better job this season on cutting down on careless turnovers. He has only thrown 7 interceptions this season but possibly hasn't face the type of pass rush he is going to see tonight from Oklahoma. Zabransky has been sacked 16 times this season and the Sooners should add to that total tonight,
Cover, Cover, Cover! The Sooner pass defense improved so much over the course of the season that they ended the year as the top pass defense in the conference. They can't afford to lose any receivers in the secondary tonight.
Boise State could have the most speed and most explosive offensive attack of any team the Sooners have faced this season. OU won't win this game by just walking out on the field but they will win it by being physical and playing Oklahoma football. Look for the Sooners to take advantage of an undersized Boise State defensive line and linebackers to control the clock and keep the game under control.
Official Machine Prediction: 38 - 17 OU. Boomer Sooner!!!