The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2) wrap up the 2020 season with a 55-20 demolition of the No. 7 Florida Gators (8-4) in the 85th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. With the win, OU enters the offseason on an eight game-winning streak and a tidal wave of positive momentum.
On Wednesday night, Oklahoma set a new Cotton Bowl record with 684 yards of total offense, including a program postseason record 435 rushing yards. Between senior RB Rhamondre Stevenson — the game’s Offensive MVP — redshirt freshman RB Marcus Major and freshman RB Seth McGowan, the Sooners’ ground attack rolled over the Gators all night long.
Redshirt freshman QB Spencer Rattler had himself a heck of a season finale against UF, as well. From start to finish, the first year starter played like a poised veteran, picking apart the Gators’ defense with deep and intermediate throws. In total, the Phoenix, Arizona product completed 14 of 23 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 40 rushing yards on seven carries and another score with his legs.
Redshirt junior DB Tre Norwood was named the game’s Defensive MVP for his sensational performance that included a pick-six on UF’s first drive of the game. He concludes the season with a team-high five interceptions.
After jumping out to a quick 17-0 advantage, OU fell into a familiar dry spell while Florida found some footing on both sides of the ball. Mid-way through the second quarter, that three-possession lead was quickly cut to a mere four points at 17-13 following some untimely Sooner turnovers. That’s about as interesting as this game would become, because by halftime, Oklahoma pulled away to the tune of 31-13.
The second half was all Oklahoma. Through big plays by McGowan and Stevenson, the depleted Gators were simply overmatched despite the SEC patch on their chest. Before a late garbage score from Florida, OU held a 55-13 commanding lead, and the margin felt even wider than that.
As amazing as it is, this is officially Lincoln Riley’s first bowl game victory as a head coach. Of course, the first three opportunities came in the College Football Playoff semifinals, but finally getting this monkey off his back has to feel good. Going into the 2021 offseason, national expectations for Oklahoma will be sky high, but for now, Sooner Nation deserves to enjoy this moment.
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